Mandarin Wars

Mandarin Wars

Observation - Mandarin Wars. Description: Five males two females, there is bound to be trouble. There was much posturing by the males; they would slowly lower their head with the bill close to the chest until the tip was in the water and then flick the head up to a normal position. I was undecid

Five males two females, there is bound to be trouble.
There was much posturing by the males; they would slowly lower their head with the bill close to the chest until the tip was in the water and then flick the head up to a normal position. I was undecided if this was aimed at the other males or the females; fighting usually broke out after a short bout of this movement but it was echoed occasionally by the females.
There was indeed much fighting which carried on intermittently but lengthily for some time.
These birds are wild and not part of the collection.

Unfortunately it was at the end of the day and the light was horrid (most of the action took place under an overhanging tree too) so none of the images are sharp.

Mandarins had quite a profound effect on me as a small boy, there was a pinned pair on a pond in Greenwich Park, and I was fascinated by this enigmatic and exotic bird. Looking them up in my Observer Book of Birds did much to encourage an already growing interest.