Status: No accepted records.
Taxonomy: No subspecies are recognized (Gill et al 2022).
Comments: There are reports from three locations. A free-flying, unmarked male was found at Pier Park, Grand Island, Hall Co 14 Dec 2011 and apparently wintered there, with sightings through 29 Feb 2012; a female was present 21 Feb (Steve Morris, personal communication). Presumably the same unmarked individual male returned to winter at Pier Park 15 Dec 2012; it was in high plumage and seen and photographed through 16 Mar 2013. There was a single sighting of presumably the same bird 12 Jan 2014. Pier Park is a wintering site for Wood Ducks, with 10-20 wintering there each year. Another male was photographed at Holmes Lake, Lancaster Co around 17 Dec 2017, and one shot by a hunter in 2010 showed no signs of having been in captivity.
Reports near Nebraska are of one photographed at Iowa City, Iowa 21 May 2013; it had been present “a couple of weeks”, and one at Yankton, South Dakota 29 Oct-19 Nov 2020.
eBird “species maps” show a large number of reports of Mandarin Duck in North America, with most reports on the Pacific Coast and in the eastern US west to the Great Lakes. Mandarin Duck is migratory in its Asia home range, and, interestingly, by far the fewest reports in the US are Jun-Aug. Usually, sightings of escaped or released birds show no clear seasonal pattern, and so it is curious that US sightings are fewer in summer. The Pier Park, Nebraska bird discussed above re-appeared for three consecutive winters which suggests a persistent annual movement pattern by that individual.
Notable established populations in the US include the following. A long-standing (20+ years) breeding population exists in Pueblo Co, Colorado (Dave Ely, personal communication). There are also feral populations in Sonoma County, California, Black Mountain, North Carolina, and near Salt Lake City, Utah, the latter thought to have resulted from a release by a collector.
Gill, F., D. Donsker, and P. Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2023. Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org
Birds of Nebraska – Online
Updated 11 Jan 2023