NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A rare duck is going viral online after finding a new home in New York City.
The Mandarin duck, known for its multicolored feathers and hot pink bill, is native to East Asia. The big question: Why is it here, in the middle of Manhattan?
Photographer Dennis Newsham can’t get enough of the duck.
“I took a couple hundred [pictures] because it’s a rare bird and I was trying to get some action shots, and I got some of it flying,” Newsham said.
The Harlem man isn’t the only one flocking to the park to get a glimpse.
The bird was first spotted on Oct. 10th and videotaped in a now viral video.
Since then, New Yorkers and tourists are swarming to the pond in the southeast corner of the park near 59th and Fifth.
“It’s just an incredible gift to New York,” said bird watcher Yovanna Davinci.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to see a beautiful animal,” said Michelle Ashkin, co-director of education at the Wild Bird Fund.
The reason why the bird is causing such a buzz? It’s native to East Asia. It shouldn’t be in the middle of Manhattan.
“It’s just enjoying some sunlight and taking it easy,” said bird watcher Dave Barrett.
Barrett says it’s one of the most colorful ducks you can find.
“It’s beautiful. That’s the thing that is getting people’s imaginations fired… It’s the most beautiful duck, probably in the world,” Barrett said.
Barrett says he’s checked with every zoo in the city, and none are missing a duck. It leads the bird watching community to believe it was a domestic pet, which is illegal in New York City.
“It might have got away or someone might have got tired of it and dumped it,” Barrett said.
It also may have flown here from a neighboring town.
Whatever the reason, it’s here. And it’s no chicken. This duck isn’t afraid to take on New York.
Bird experts say they don’t think the duck will migrate for the winter, but it should survive here in New York.
The city doesn’t plan on removing the duck unless it appears to be unhealthy or in danger.
Right now, neither seem to be the case.