A large and very elegant duck, the "Canvasback's" forehead slopes straight down to a long, dark bill. His flanks, back and tertials are very pale; his breast and tail feathers are black. He has a thick neck and long body.
The female "Canvasback" has a light brown head and breast with contrasting pale gray flanks and back.
In flight, the "Canvasback" wings are uniform with a faint gray wing stripe.
Spring migration brings the "Canvasback" as far north as Alaska and Central Canada. They also breed in freshwater in the Midwest and Great Plains.
Calls or song.
These ducks are generally silent, but during courtship, the male emits cooing notes.
Population and distribution.
"Canvasback" ducks are a common sight in the southern portion of the United States, but also as far up the East Coast as Massachusetts. Their numbers fluctuate due to changing water levels in their breeding areas as well as hunting regulations. They are currently enjoying a rebound from low populations from 1982 to 1995.