Sightings of ‘the world’s most beautiful duck’ has Vancouver going quackers


If you’ve spotted a colourful, exotic-looking duck that’s been hanging around Burnaby Lake recently, you might have done a double take.

The Mandarin Duck, as its known, has been causing a stir in the media lately, and among birdwatchers, since it is not native to North America.

On October 31, a mandarin duck spotted in Central Park merited a New York Times article, and similarly this week in Vancouver, Global BC shared the word that at least one Mandarin Duck has been seen in the region, in Burnaby Lake as well as some reported sightings in Lost Lagoon in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

“The mandarin, widely regarded as the world’s most beautiful duck, is a native of China and Japan,” explains the website Living with Birds. He’s a close relative of the North American wood duck–something Metro Vancouverites are very familiar with seeing in our local lakes and small waterways.

Similarly, the mandarin duck prefers small wooded ponds, which may explain where he (or they) have shown up in Burnaby Lake and Lost Lagoon. But how did the most beautiful bird in the world get to beautiful British Columbia? Just like with the Central Park duck in New York, we just don’t know.

We do know, however, that the mandarin duck has been here since around May, as confirmed by Burnaby Lake Park via their social media.

So bird lovers, take note, this rare duck is a sight to behold–but be respectful if you’re checking him out.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom