Canvasback

Aythya valisineria

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

CANV

Code 6

AYTVAL

ITIS

Egg Color:

Gray olive or green olive.



Number of Eggs:

7 - 12



Incubation Days:

23 - 29



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

Floating and anchored to vegetation, sometimes on land.



Nest Material:

Dead vegetation lined with down.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Canvasback: Large flashy diving duck with pale gray body, black breast and tail. Head is red-brown with long, sloping profile and long, dark bill. Female has gray breast, brown head and neck that is most dark on the crown and nape, most pale on chin, throat and eye line; mantle and breast are brown, pale brown-gray flanks, white belly, gray and vermiculated white scapulars, brown rump, vent and tail; primaries brown-gray, wing coverts are darker than male. Juvenile resembles female; eclipse male resembles breeding male, but is duller.

Range and Habitat

Canvasback: Breeds from Alaska south and east to Nebraska and Minnesota. Spends winters in coastal regions and interior west from British Columbia south and east from Massachusetts south to the Gulf Coast, across to the Mississippi Valley, and throughout the southern states. Nests on marshes; winters on lakes, bays, and estuaries.

Breeding and Nesting

Canvasback: Seven to twelve gray olive or green olive eggs are laid in a floating nest built by the female. The nest is a bulky bowl made of reeds and grass and anchored to the stems of marsh plants, lined with down. Incubation is for 23 to 29 days and is carried out by the female. The ducklings are able to fend for themselves when they can fly, at about 60 to 70 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Canvasback: These ducks forage in open water by diving from the surface and sometimes dabbling, mostly eating seeds, buds, leaves, tubers, roots, snails and insect larvae. They show a preference for the tubers of sago pondweed, which can make up their entire diet at times. When plant foods are limited, they eat small clams and snails. They feed by day or night.

Vocalization

Canvasback: Male grunts or croaks. Female makes a soft quack.

Similar Species

Canvasback: Redhead is smaller and lacks sloping profile; males have grayer sides.

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
MantleX
The upper surface of the back and wings covered with shorter feathers.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
ScapularsX
Short feathers in the area where the bird’s back and wings join.
VentX
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Wing covertsX
The feathers that cover and protect the flight feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X