3. The Mandarin Duck of Central Park

Mandarin duck

In 2018, birdwatchers, everyday New Yorkers, and tourists alike were transfixed by the appearance of a vibrantly colored bird who descended on Central Park. The mystery of the Mandarin duck’s appearance and its elusive nature as it flew from various Central Park locations fueled the frenzy to spot it. New York City was overtaken by duck fever. Dogs were dressed up as the duckt-shirts were made, The Cut branded the bird “Hot Duck,” and the bird even made it to the pages of gossip website TMZ!

Mandarin ducks are usually found in East Asia and no New York City zoo claimed the duck as an escapee. It was mostly spotted near the Hallett Sanctuary where people lined up to take photographs. The duck made trips to New Jersey and Brooklyn while he was in New York, and was last spotted in March 2019, right before the spring mating season, disappearing as mysteriously as it appeared.