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Old May 21, 2010, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default Mating Mandarins

I know I live in China but NO not those sort of Mandarins

My favourite place to relax and de-stress is the zoo. They have spent a lot of money renovating it and it is really a love place to stroll around even though some of the enclosures and their occupants still need more work doing.

In fact lots of the local wildlife also think it's a great place to make a home so not only are the exotic exhibits there but lots of the otherwise hard to get close to indigenous species.

This time however I was lucky to see Mandarin Ducks creating offspring. I know with some of these the focus is off a little so hope you can forgive me

#1 - all preened and ready to go !
#2 - walk the walk (it's working) !
#3 - it's his lucky day
#4 - full steam ahead
#5 - read my lips

continued below .....
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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Very nice series frogfish. These ducks look very similar to our Wood Duck we have here in the US, so I wikepedia'd it and sure enough they share the same genus. Both are gorgeous ducks, but this Mandarin with his feathers all puffed out is amazing.
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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#6 - whew, I'm knackered !
#7 - I'm the man ! I'm the man !
#9 - (what should be here is the mutual preening that went on post-coitus : sorry I missed it).
#10 - The modern duck - I'll never leave you baby !
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:56 PM   #4
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Thanks Hards. The males have absolutely stupendous plumage don't they.
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Old May 21, 2010, 1:37 PM   #5
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Hi FF,

Great series!

I'm a member of the largest zoo in my area, and it's indeed a great place to see a number of species that populate the area, but aren't usually viewable. The have the knowledge to create/maintain habitats that can attract and protect these guys, yet allow easy access to the public. It's also a break for a wildlife shooter. With all those animals just waiting around to be photographed, it's a far cry from the pressure of trying not to mess up that "once in a lifetime" photo op that's so few and far between in the wild.

I've spent a lot of time at zoos -- it's really good practice dealing subjects that you can't control for position, lighting, and action. I used to walk the entire zoo, trying to get a wide assortment of shots, but then decided that concentrating on a few exhibits each visit, getting to know the behavior of a few animals at a time was more productive was a better strategy.

Some very nice captures of some gorgeous birds -- they look to be considerably more refined in their mating compared to the rough treatment that Mallards (by far the most obviously dominant species) show their mates around here.

Scott
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Old May 21, 2010, 1:38 PM   #6
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Wow, those are gorgeous birds, fantastic shots mate!
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Old May 21, 2010, 1:38 PM   #7
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The is so pretty its hard to believe the female is of the same species isn't it?
thanks for sharing Kevin.
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Old May 21, 2010, 9:54 PM   #8
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A lovely series. I've only seen this species once - I don't know that they still have them but there used to be a number of birds at the Flamingo's outside garden, and they had a couple of pairs. I was fascinated with them, they are so pretty. And yes, he seems to be very gentle with her.
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Old May 22, 2010, 5:40 AM   #9
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Thank you Scott ! Yes I'm very lucky in that regard (going to the zoo) as it only costs ca. US$6 to get in so for the price of a coffee I get to hang out for a few hours in a lovely environment, they have created some (natural ?) huge lakes there (9 in total) comprising maybe 1/4 of the whole zoo, so lots of bird action, both imported and local !

Thanks Ash, GW, Mtngal ! I see Mandarin Ducks quite often in South East Asia & the Far East so guess they must be indigenous to quite a few countries in the region.
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Old May 24, 2010, 5:33 AM   #10
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Really fine series with lovely color rendition and great portrayal of all the action!
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