The Mandarin duck is not native to the United States but is found in East Asia and Russia. These birds belong to an endangered species and the numbers in the wild is a matter of concern. Most of them are in zoos or private aviaries or on farms and one of them landed up in early October in the duck pond in Central Park. Birdwatchers flocked to the spot to capture photographs and from the markings on its body, it was clear that it was a male.

Los Angeles Times reports that he was not from Manhattan and there was no way of knowing how he flew into Central Park.

Inquiries at the nearby zoos did not produce any result because they had not lost any Mandarin duck. The bird probably belonged to a breeder or a collector who might have set him free for whatever reason.

Huge market for exotic pets

LA Times goes on to add that anyone can purchase a Mandarin duck as a pet. For a few hundred dollars, one can obtain these and other exotic birds online from a firm in Ohio. However, the firm’s website has informed that this special breed of ducks is not available right now. It is possible that the owner of this particular bird had abandoned him in Central Park. It would not be a surprise because there are people in New York who have a fancy for exotic Pets and discard them at a later date, once the novelty wears off.

There have been instances in the past of people taking such actions. It is difficult to identify such persons and they increase the work for the administration.

Incidentally, this Mandarin duck appears to have plans to make this his home.

It has happened in the past. They are there in Northern Ireland since the late 1970s, while there are similar flocks nearer home in Sonoma, Calif., and North Carolina. As far as the guest in Central Park is concerned, the authorities are ensuring that the bird has plenty to eat during cold spells in winter when the water freezes.

This bird loves to be on the move

According to Gothamist, this Mandarin duck is always on the move. He made his first appearance in Central Park in early October. He then went to New Jersey and had also been sighted at Woodcliff Lake in North Bergen. David Barrett, a bird lover, has been keeping track of the bird and revealed, “he flies west, to the Hudson River or even farther.”

When he left Central Park in October, there were fears that he has gone for good but he is back and bird lovers have gathered in large numbers to watch the beautiful feathered friend playing in the water and to capture photographs for posterity.