One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A North American diving duck with a long, sloping black bill, related (and with similar coloring) to the pochard, common in Eurasia.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Of the 35,000 canvasbacks that winter annually on San Francisco Bay, about 10 percent spend time in Viansa Wetlands.’
- ‘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.’
Late 16th century: so named because of the white back of the male.
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