Sunday, November 02, 2014

Canvasback Duck at Kenny's Pond

Canvasback ducks breed from Alaska through the Yukon and western edge of the Northwest Territories to the parklands and mixed prairie of central North America so it was quite a surprise to find this lost soul in our urban waters.

A large diving duck, the Canvasback is an accomplished athlete.  In the air, they are fast, clocking speeds of more than 100 km/hr, and in the water, they can dive to depths exceeding 30 feet, although they mostly feed in shallower water .

Interestingly, the canvasback’s latin name Aythya valisineria is derived from the Latin for wild celery, one of their favourite foods in the eastern portion of their range.

This duck has  been hanging out with the other diving ducks - scaups and tufted ducks - for the past few weeks and if food is available may stay for the winter.

A Canvasback duck was last reported in Newfoundland  41 years ago in 1973 !

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