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People Are Lining Up To See Central Park's Rare Mandarin Duck (Photos)

ecetweets - Twitter / Chris Ang - Instagram

New Yorkers are notoriously hard to impress.

So if they're flocking to see something, you know it has to be good.

And the unlikely attraction that has captured the city's attention this month is a bird - a duck, in fact.

The city's bird lovers are even celebrating, now that this unusual fowl has returned to its pond following a disappearance.

Is It A Local, Or A Tourist?

Mandarin Duck New York
This duck has no idea, but he's one of New York's must-talked-about celebrities.Sandra Critelli - Twitter

The brightly-colored bird first landed in the city's Central Park Pond on October 10, and stood out from the native waterfowls right away.

It's a rare breed known as a Mandarin, which is not native to New York City but normally found in East Asia. Experts guess that the bird might have been a pet which was recently released, or ran away from its home.

Strange duck from Asia mysteriously ended up in NYC's Central Park

WHAT THE DUCK? Rare Mandarin Duck from East Asia spotted in Central Park

Posted by CBS News on Thursday, November 1, 2018

In any case, both locals and tourists have been crowding the pond for more than a month, trying to get a good shot of the bird or just to appreciate his colorful plumage.

Local park rangers have even been forced to warn the crowds of visitors not to disturb the animal.

"While it's exciting to spot such a rare bird in NYC's backyard, like every other celebrity sighting, New Yorkers should know to give him space and not to disturb him," said John McCoy, the city's Urban Park Rangers deputy director.

Mandarin Duck
Crowds flock to see New York's Mandarin duck.Jenny G. Zhang - Twitter

The NYC Parks Department is not studying the duck, but say it "appeared healthy," and that it has been spotted moving around Central Park.

"While we're happy to have had him visit our parks, it's important to remember that at some point he may leave New York for warmer temperatures," the department said in a statement.

Locals actually worried the duck had done just that, when it disappeared earlier this week, but the duck was finally spotted again on Thursday morning, much to the delight of the city's birders.

But there is still some concern for the bird's future: local birdwatcher Dave Barrett, one of the first people to spot the rare duck, says a domesticated pet in an unfamiliar environment may not migrate with the winter.

Mandarin duck New York
It's unclear how long the duck plans to stay in New York City.Holly Mascaro - Twitter

Still, he and other bird experts think the animal will be able to tough out a winter in New York City. And the fact that he "disappeared" shows the duck might already be looking for better territory nearby.

Park officials have said they're prepared to treat the duck if he is injured or needs medical care - because New Yorkers have each other's backs.

[H/T: ABC, People, CBS]

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