A Beautiful Mandarin Duck Randomly Appeared In New York

Thousands of kilometres from home, a Mandarin Duck was spotted swimming majestically in a pond in a quiet corner in New York's Central Park.

The bird is covered in striking purple and blue feathers, beady black eyes and a fan-like orange chest. Its beak was a vibrant pink and its tail, lined with black and white stripes, sat grandly as it floated on the water's surface.

The Mandarin Duck is native to East Asia and is regularly seen in China and Japan, not in Manhattan.

It is considered to be among the most beautiful birds in the world. In traditional Chinese culture, they are a powerful symbol of eternal love and a perfect marriage.

The duck was first spotted on October 10, amazing the park's bird watchers. Everyone, of course, was wondering how on earth the bird managed to get itself to Central Park and so a number of theories emerged.

A Mandarin Duck was spotted in central park. Image: Getty Images.

David Barrett, creator of Twitter account Manhattan Bird Alert sent out a tweet when he got news the Mandarin Bird had been spotted. Barrett told the New York Times he initially believed the bird could have landed in the park one of three ways:

  1. He could have escaped from the local zoo
  2. He could have fled captivity from somewhere near New York City
  3. A duck owner might have dumped him in the park

Then, just as mysteriously as it appeared, the duck vanished without a trace.

“For almost two weeks we didn’t know what happened to it,” Barrett said. “We assumed it got eaten by a raptor.”

The duck disappeared without a trace. Image: Getty Images.

But just last Thursday, the duck reappeared. This time the Wildlife Conservation Society had ruled out the duck came from any of New York's four major zoos.

That left either option two or three.

The duck has been assessed and park authorities said they have no plans to remove the duck from the park as it seems perfectly happy swimming living in the park.

“As long as it has open water, it will do just fine,” Barrett said. “He might live very happily on the Central Park Pond.”

Featured Image: Getty Images. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au