As we know from his recent adventure to Brooklyn, the Mandarin Duck—a.k.a. Mandarin Patinkin a.k.a. Hot Duck—is looking for a mate. Since it's breeding season, he better get on it, because after this, Mandarin ducks begin to molt. What does that mean? It means that for a little bit of time, the duck won't be able to fly... and he's going to look a little different.
In an article this week, the Audubon Society asked, "Will You Still Love the Hot Duck When He Looks Like This?" What kind of question is that even?! Of course we will still love this goofy looking motherfucker. LOOK AT HIM.
Another Mandarin duck molting. (Shutterstock)
So yes, soon our beloved duck will look like the ragged old stuffed animal you refuse to toss out from your childhood. And so what if he looks like a rejected muppet? So what if he looks like a Russian
Doll Duck, unveiling itself to us one sexy layer at a time. The Church of Many Feathers will become the Church of Less Feathers, but it'll all be okay.
According to that report from the Audubon Society, it's unclear when exactly this will happen, but they guess sometime around May, June, or July. They also went into detail about what's about to happen: "In a few months, he’s going to trade in his technicolor dreamcoat for, basically, khakis. Those white patches around his eyes? They'll shrink to what looks like a set of cream-colored, wire-frame glasses. The purples and greens on his head and breast? They'll be dingy and brown. And those giant orange feathers sticking up like sails? Gone."
As for how long this will last, he should be back to full color again by October, since he was looking vibrant when he first showed up during that month in Central Park last year. It's also possible he'll abandon us before the molting, as the Audubon notes, "On top of donning camo, the Mandarin Duck might also protect himself by skipping town." But if he does stay in town, try not to make him feel too self-conscious about his looks—he's just going through an awkward phase.