Beautiful, rare Mandarin duck draws crowds in Central Park

CENTRAL PARK —People are flocking to Central Park to catch a glimpse of mysterious bird: a lone Mandarin duck.

Mandarin ducks are native to East Asia. Though there are dozens of duck breeds in North America, this beautiful, multicolored one isn’t found in the wild.

The mystery of this male bird began on Oct. 10 when it first appeared in Central Park. A viral video was posted on the Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter account run by David Barrett. Suddenly, the duck vanished , but last week there was a new clue.

"It appeared on the Hudson River at the Boat Basin [on] 79th St.," Barrett told PIX11 News.

On Sunday the duck flew back to Central Park, where it has drawn crowds for several days. The bird appears to be healthy, and can survive swimming in cold waters during the winter months.

The owner of the bird remains a mystery, as it did not come from any of the city’s four major zoos or the New York Aquarium.

If you want to try to catch a glimpse of its majestic colors, the duck has been last seen at the Central Park Pond near 59th St. and Fifth Avenue.

"We have beautiful ducks in the park, but this is nothing like anything else we have," said Barrett.