Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)


French: Fuligule à dos blanc German: Riesentafelente Spanish: Porrón coacoxtle

Anas valisineria

A. Wilson

, 1814,

eastern United States


Has been thought to be closest to A. ferina, with which it has hybridized in the wild#R. Hybridization with other species of Aythya and with Netta frequent in captivity. Monotypic.


Breeds from C Alaska and W Canada S to NE California, New Mexico and C New York, USA. Winters in S British Columbia and S Ontario, Canada, in most of USA, and through Mexico to Guerrero, Puebla and Campeche.

Descriptive notes

48–61 cm; male 810–1658 g, female 740–1630 g; wingspan 74–90 cm. Very similar to A. ferina (largely allopatric, although vagrants of present... read more


Vocalizations of adults include “ick ick cu-oo” of male (“Kink-neck” call), as well as... read more


Shallow, freshwater marshes and swamps in prairie country, with abundant floating and emergent... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds, roots, tubers, leaves and stems of aquatic plants, grasses, sedges and stubble; also aquatic invertebrates (insects, molluscs, e.g... read more


Starts May/Jun, occasionally late Apr, with replacement clutches laid as late as early Jul and nest initiation usually later by younger... read more


Migratory, generally moving S between Oct and Nov, arriving in wintering areas in Nov–Dec,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Numbers greatly reduced, with densities of breeding birds lowest in dry prairie and boreal forest zones (0·1 birds/km²)... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Canvasback (Aythya valisineria). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 December 2019).