Definition of canvasback in US English:



  • A North American diving duck with a long, sloping black bill, related (and with similar coloring) to the pochard, common in Eurasia.

    Aythya valisineria, family Anatidae

    • ‘And the hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl that stop there every winter include mallards, canvasback ducks, blue-winged and green-winged teals, and wood ducks.’
    • ‘From time to time, the pond has hosted the locally rare redhead, a member of the group to which scaup, the canvasback and ring-necked duck belong.’
    • ‘Of the 35,000 canvasbacks that winter annually on San Francisco Bay, about 10 percent spend time in Viansa Wetlands.’
    • ‘Two ducks common in the winter marsh - the canvasback and greater scaup - are now up in the Yukon and the Seward Peninsula.’
    • ‘The ponds also attract black ducks, canvasbacks, American wigeons, lesser and greater scaups, green- and blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal, and herons.’


Late 16th century: so named because of the white back of the male.