Canvasback Aythya valisineria


The Canvasback is a striking North American diving duck that spends its winters in much of northern Mexico and much of the United States.  Breeding from northern Alaska south to the prairies of the north-central and northwestern US, the species favors freshwater marshes and lakes during the summer and larger bodies of water, both fresh and salt, during the winters.  Rarely, the species occurs as far south as Guatemala and Honduras and the Caribbean islands during the winter.  Males are striking birds, with a rusty head, long, sloping black bill, red irides, black chest and rear end divided by bright gray-white on the middle of the body and wings.  Females are pale gray-brown on the body and tawny brown on the head and neck, with pale spectacles surrounding the eyes.  During the winter, this species forms large flocks with other diving ducks and feeds on aquatic vegetation and gastropods.

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© William W. H. Gunn

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Canvasback (Aythya valisineria), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: