BURNABY, B.C. — A rare duck native to East Asia is making a splash in a lake east of Vancouver and experts believe he is an escaped pet.

The Mandarin duck, with his vibrant golden, green and blue plumage, is attracting visitors to Burnaby Lake and was first seen in May, says Irene Lau, chair of the Burnaby Lake Park Association. A similar fowl in New York has drawn crowds too.

Lau saw the male duck in the park in late September.

This is not the first time that a Mandarin duck has been seen in this park, she says.

Records show that about 10 years ago there was a sighting of a Mandarin duck in the area, Lau says, although she adds that there is only that one record.

“It just popped in and out.”

The Mandarin duck is a distant cousin of wood ducks, which have been calling the park home since they were first sighted in the 1960s, she says.

In the 1970s the park association started putting up nesting boxes for them so the wood ducks began to spend winters at the lake.

These birds not only glide on water and walk through the grass but they often sit in trees, Lau says.

“They have little hooks on their webbed feet that allow them to perch in trees.”

That mandarin duck has been there at that burnaby lake for the last few months – hope it will make it through the winter! ♥️👍

— Pacificnorthwestkate (@pnwkate) November 3, 2018

Harold Eyster, a PhD student studying biodiversity and nature conservation at the University of British Columbia, says it seems likely that this bird is an escapee, since these birds are popular garden ornaments.

There’s likely nothing on the books that says you can’t keep Mandarin ducks as pets, says the BC SPCA in a statement.

Geoff LeBaron, director …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Music


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