NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A rare duck is going viral online after finding a new home in New York City.

(credit: Pat Dubren)

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?

A Mandarin Duck at Central Park New York City
(credit: Dennis Newsham @TouristPicsNYC)

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.

A Mandarin Duck and Wood Duck at Central Park New York City
(credit: Dennis Newsham @TouristPicsNYC)

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.

(credit: Pat Dubren)

“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.

(credit: Pat Dubren)

“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.

(credit: Pat Dubren)

“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.

Comments (31)
  1. Monty Goolsby says:

    Probably came here as a “Caravan’. All of them will be voting for Democrats on Tuesday.

  2. Ford Hanson says:

    That duck is gorgeous. Wow.

  3. sgtted says:

    My girlfriend has one in her backyard in a pen. City people are so quaint.

  4. Wilbur Stakler says:

    shoot it and stuff it

  5. Another import that will overstay and never leave America – land of Milk & Honey. Build the Wall President Trump – we love and support you in San Diego, CA.

  6. Eric Coppala says:

    These are readily available to purchase. I’d guess they belonged to someone. You’d think the reporter would’ve done a bit of research first.

    1. Paul Foote says:

      Reporters doing actual research?! You must be joking!

  7. Rick Hilton says:

    What a beautiful bird!

  8. is it covered under nys duck season regs?

    also…..tastes like chicken…..

    just kidding people. no need to dogpile.

  9. It is a sign that President Trump’s tariffs are working!

  10. Monroe Boyce says:

    what do they taste like?

  11. Oh great. Now the selfie narcissists will show up and stress the poor animal to death.

  12. Jimmie Meeks says:

    soon it will be trans gendered and strung out on drugs, while resisting Trump .

  13. Steve Johnston says:

    Rare in the wild as an accidental visitor ? Yes. Rare in the sense they are hard to find ? Not so much. found over three dozen breeders offering them for sale. Quite easy for an un-pinioned one to fly the coop.

  14. Will Martin says:

    I have actually been thinking of getting a pair for my place, since I saw that a hatchery had them. They are beautiful birds.

  15. Kenneth Crips says:

    The Mandarin Tree Duck has been a domestic duck for several centuries. First brought to the UK in the 18th century from the Indian subcontinent, They have been in stateside collections since middle of the 20th century.

  16. Dave Hardesty says:

    He just followed a Wong Tern to end up here.

  17. They’d better put it someplace where the public has no access. It’s New York, after all.

  18. Photo’d a fenceful in Montreat NC a few years ago.

  19. Joseph McLinden says:

    This bird was wearing a “refuge” leg-band. It sought asylum in 2016, claiming an inability to eat with chop stix, was forcing it to lose weight, and become ostracized.

  20. Mike Wiehl says:

    Probably waiting to lay an egg so it can stay here legally. The mayor already gave it the right to vote next Tuesday. LOL

    1. Marty Miller says:

      China town is missing a duck!

  21. You can buy a mated pair from Meyer’s hatchery for $300. Not that rare.

  22. Frank Comeau says:

    I saw that the duck has a band on one of it’s legs. Wild birds are not banded unless they are endangered.

    1. Jim Bossier says:

      That’s not true. Biologists band birds to track their movements and banding has nothing to do with their conservation status.

  23. D Patrick Dewey says:

    It’s very pretty and unusual.

  24. Keith Elliott says:

    It’s obvious, the bird came in here illegally. It must be deported.

  25. Babette Olsen says:

    I agree about it being in the zoo even though it would be unable to fly far away .. some idiot will come along and kill it if it is left in the Park.

  26. Sharon De Sarle Richter says:

    Bronx Zoo should take it in for it’s own protection…too many nuts in NYC.

  27. If its living in New York City it will become unhealthy soon enough.

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