Rare Mandarin Duck Wows In Central Park: Report

CENTRAL PARK, NY — A rare species of duck that isn’t native to New York City has been captivating bird watchers at Central Park for the past month due to both its beauty and the mysterious circumstances of its presence.

The male Mandarin duck was first spotted near The Pond in Central Park — located in the southeast corner of the park — on Oct. 10 and has recently reappeared after a two-week period out of the limelight, the New York Times reported this week. Mandarin ducks are native to East Asia and are common sights in China and Japan, but are hardly ever seen in New York, according to the report.

Local birdwatcher David Barrett, who runs the Twitter account Manhattan Bird Alert, told the Times his three theories on how the duck arrived in Central Park. The duck either escaped a zoo, fled from a New Jersey home (ownership of ducks as pets is not legal in New York City) or was left in the park by a former owner.

Nobody has been able to crack the case to discover the duck’s origins, the Times reported. But most bird lovers don’t care where the mallard may have come from, because it’s a joy to just look at.

“He’s the star of the show,” 74-year-old photographer Juan Jimenez told the Times.

Read the full New York Times article here.

Photo of Mandarin duck on the lake of St James’s Park, London, by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images News

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