In my opinion the likelyhood of a feral population founded by escaped Mandarin Ducks becoming self-sustained as to be "countable" is much higher than that of an accepted natural vagrant. This has happened already in parts of Europe (ca. 7000 pairs), and according to Wikipedia there are free-flying feral populations, albeit not yet countable ones, in Buncombe Co. (North Carolina) and Sonoma Co. (California). The wild population in Asia is not particularly large, only around 6000 pairs and declining. Of these, only about 1000 pairs are migratory, while the 5000 pairs in Japan are largely resident, therefore making long distance vagrancy even less likely.
I am happy to report that I have seen the species in a perfectly wild setting in Japan (as well as in a city park), but I also got a kick out of seeing the obviously feral birds in Britain and Switzerland.
Urs Geiser (<ugeiser...>) Woodridge (DuPage Co., IL)
On 1/4/19 9:16 PM, Evan Graff <egraff89...> [ILbirds] wrote: > > > Hi All, > > So with the understanding that Mandarin Duck sightings are pretty much > (or, always) considered escapees, this posting today got me > wondering... What sort of evidence would be needed for an ABA sighting > of a Mandarin Duck to be accepted? Or more specifically, how about a > lower 48 record? To put it differently, is there ANY evidence that > could be submitted to get the record accepted? What would it take? Or > is it simply impossible for a Mandarin Duck to be deemed "acceptable" > in the foreseeable future due to the high chance of these birds being > escapees? > > Either way, it's a cool sighting - thank you to Susan for posting. > > Best, > Evan Graff > Chicago > >