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Possible Panda Sighting? Swimming in Osaka Castle’s Moat?!

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A male smew, almost completely white with black around the eyes, with a female smew in the background are seen in Chuo Ward, Osaka City, on Thursday.

A type of migratory bird of the duck family called smew (Mergellus albellus) visited the outer moat, or “Sotobori,” of Osaka Castle Park in Chuo Ward, Osaka City.

Smew mainly breed in the Eurasian continent and migrate to Japan for the winter. Around autumn, both males and females have brown heads, but males turn almost completely white in winter. Their distinctively black-ringed eyes resemble those of a giant panda, earning them the nickname “Panda Duck” and are a delight for bird enthusiasts’ eyes.