The Mandarin Duck is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 41–49 cm long with a 65–75 cm wingspan.
Unlike other species of ducks, most Mandarin drakes reunite with the hens they mated with along with their offsprings after the eggs have hatched and even share scout duties in watching the ducklings closely. However, even with both parents securing the ducklings, most of them do not survive to adulthood.
The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country; Japan, however, is thought to still hold some 5,000 pairs.
Specimens frequently escape from collections, and in the 20th century a feral population numbering about 1,000 pairs was established in Great Britain. Although this is of great conservational significance, the birds are not protected in the UK since the species is not native there. There is also a free-flying feral population of several hundred mandarins in Sonoma County, California.
Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_Duck - 02.10.2010
With the Mandarin Ducks it is the same as with many birds: The draskes are much more magnificent than the females. But an exact observation shows their own - fine - beauty, too.