Canvasback (Can, the king of ducks)

The canvasback is big, beautiful and tastes great on the table. He’s also known for approaching decoys with reckless abandon, trusting speed rather than wariness to get him out of trouble. Males have a chestnut-red head and neck, black breast, grayish back, black rump and blackish-brown tail. The sides, flank and belly are white, while the wing coverts are grayish and vermiculated with black. The bill is blackish and the legs and feet are bluish-gray. Females have a light brown head and neck, grading into a darker brown chest and foreback. The sides, flanks and back are grayish-brown.

  • Habitat: The majority of canvasbacks once wintered on the Chesapeake Bay, but their range has shifted toward the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.
  • Interesting Fact: A surprising band return for a hunter turned out to be a 29-year-old canvasback. This was the oldest known wild duck in North America.