New Yorkers love to hate crowds, but people have been clamoring to get a glimpse of a very special duck in Central Park since October. The Mandarin Duck, native to East Asia, sticks out amongst New York’s common ducks with its unique coloring and plummage. People speculate it may have been someone’s pet, and has somehow integrated itself into the native duck population.
Nicknamed the “hot duck,” it has become a national sensation, landing itself on the cover of the LA Times, and multiple articles in the New York Times. Locals love tracking the bird’s whereabouts, and he has been spotted as far as North Jersey.
The popularity of the duck has stirred some controversy. The Audubon even wrote an open letter to him, saying point blank, “You’re not that special.” They warned him to not eat the bread, and pointed out the threat he could pose to the native duck populations like the Wood Duck.
If you’re around Central Park, keep an eye out for the “hot duck,” but be sure to be respectful. Check out the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics for best practices.
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