Hey everyone thought this was very interesting so i thought i would share it. Me and my girlfriend spotted a large flock of wild wood ducks and mallards that have migrated into this small river here in utah, and me being who i am, i wanted to get some pictures. I love ducks, duck hunting is my absolute favorite and i also like to do a little photography for fun. Anyway we were walking around looking at all the ducks which are 100% wild birds which i want to emphasize. These arent birds from a zoo or park these are real wild ducks. We go to this location all year round so i can take pictures of birds and the wood ducks only migrate into this spot during the winter due to it having open water. With that being said here is this wild flock of 50+ wood ducks and i notice a hen that looks odd, so i zoomed in my camera on her and to my surprise she is a mandarin hen... i have an aviary and i do raise ducks. I have never raised mandarin ducks because i love american waterfowl, but i am very positive that this is a mandarin hen. If anyone else wants to challenge this i would love to talk about it more and get others input but im 100% positive its a mandarin. I have heard of mandarin ducks being shot in america before so i can believe this is a mandarin. For as where it came from i dont know. My best quess would be it got loose from someones aviary. She is completely capable of flight, i scared the whole flock once as they all flew up and landed a hundred yards up stream. I would love to know the history on this duck. She has no identible markings as to her being a pen raised duck, she didnt have her wings pinioned, she didnt have a band, and she had all her toenails. If she was a legally pen raised bird she would have had been marked by one of the previous methods. So maybe there is a chance she is a real wild bird. I looked and could not find another one, i was hoping i would find a drake with her but there wasnt one in sight. What are all of your thoughts on this?
Heres a photo of her. Notice around the eye how she does not have a yellow eye lid like a hen wood duck has.
Just for reference i attached a photo of a hen wood duck also, compare the white around the eye and also look at the shape and white around the bill. And notice how she has the yellow eye lid.