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Reader photo: A mandarin moment

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 9, 2019

A mandarin duck as seen in Cannon Hill Park on  Tuesday. (Jerry Rolwes / COURTESY)
A mandarin duck as seen in Cannon Hill Park on Tuesday. (Jerry Rolwes / COURTESY)

Jerry Rolwes spotted an unusual looking bird in the Cannon Hill Park pond on Tuesday.

Its bright plumage stood out, even when next to nearby wood ducks. Rolwes, an avid nature photographer, took some photos and returned home perplexed. He thumbed through a bird identification book and realized he’d spotted a mandarin duck.

Mandarin ducks are native to east Asia. They occasionally appear in the United States, likely after escaping from an owner or zoo. While rarely seen, one was spotted in the Cannon Hill pond last year for four days in mid-November, according to Tom Munson.

“Why is the little fellow here in Spokane? No one really can answer that,” Rolwes said in an email. “But it is a rare treat for those who have taken the time to observe this beautiful waterfowl.”

Web extra: Submit your own outdoors-related photographs for a chance to be published in our weekly print edition and browse our archive of past reader submissions online at

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