Celebrity duck in Central Park


Mandarin duck in the Pond. Photo: Ben Rinzler

After a stressful time in the city, a rare bird sighting delights crowds



Nature paparazzi were out in force on Saturday in Central Park, clamoring for a shot of a Mandarin duck with bright plumage who had appeared on Oct. 20, vanished and then reappeared in the Pond last week. Birders identified the male duck as native to East Asia, and no one was sure how he had made his way to Manhattan.

Early fans of the duck were thrilled when he returned to Central Park from his journeys around town (one sighting had him near the Boat Basin on the Hudson River, as David Barrett of the Twitter account Manhattan Bird Alert told The New York Times).

Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) provided regular updates, including a notification to duck followers on Sunday that access to the Pond would be closed by police because of the NYC marathon. One post via @ecetweets read: “The best thing about the MANDARIN DUCK in Central Park is how excited everyone else is about birds for once!”

The duck brought delight to a city under stress from the recent bomb scares and the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh; The Times put the bird in the column, “The Week in Good News.”