photo by NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Aythya valisineria
L 21″(53 cm).

Song or calls:
Males coo during courtship, silent most other times.

Description: Shallow sloping forehead. Long black bill. Head and neck are chestnut, back and sides whitish-gray, black tail. Female has brown head and breast, gray-brown back, and same sloping forehead.

Bird Map
Habitat: Found on marshes, rivers, and shallow lakes with submerged vegetation during migration. During breeding the species prefers moderate to large lakes with emergent vegetation.

Where in Nebraska: Look for Canvasbacks on large lakes and reservoirs in early April. Also, Lake McConaughy during winter if open water exists.

Nebraska Seasons: Common, locally abundant, regular spring and fall migrant across the state. Rare, locally uncommon, regular breeder in the Sandhills region of Nebraska. Uncommon casual winter visitor.

Fun Facts: Canvasbacks are the largest of Nebraska’s diving ducks and great fliers reaching speeds up to 70 miles an hour. 

male Canvasback - NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission female Canvasback - NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Canvasback - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)