Canvasbacks are prized for their beauty as well as for their excellent taste.

Canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) are the largest North American diving duck species. Oftentimes referred to as “the King,” of North American waterfowl, they are widely revered by American hunters.  Their distinctive wedge-shaped head is formed by a long bill somewhat bulbous at the base and adjoined to a somewhat sloping forehead. Drakes readily identified by their white, lightly vermiculated “canvas-like” back and underbelly that contrasts with black chest and mantle on one end; black rump and tail feathers on the other end; chestnut colored head and neck, black bill. Drake’s bright red eyes boldly stand out. Drake’s upper wing coverts heavily vermiculated, oftentimes appearing pearly white.  Canvasback primaries are relatively darker. Hen canvasbacks have a buffy, light brown head that trails down the chest with a white eye stripe and patch on the throat. Females have a mostly gray body with brown coverts with white dappling, and blue gray bill. Legs are blueish, appearing short and wide compared to the rest of the body. In flight, rapid wingbeats and v-formation flocks.