Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday's Foto

Canvasbacks are diving ducks that breed in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, as well as, sub-arctic river deltas in Saskatchewan and the interior of Alaska. They feed by digging through bottom sediments in search of aquatic plant stems and roots, submerged insects, crustaceans, and clams. Around the size of a Mallard they are the largest species in the Aythya genus. The scientific name of the Canvasback is Aythya valisineria. Aythya Gr. aithuia unidentified seabird mentioned by Aristotle. "Valisineria" refers to Vallisneria americana, or wild celery, the buds and rhizomes of which are its preferred food during the Canvasback's nonbreeding season.

The IUCN Red List classifies the Canvasback as "Least Concern". During the 1980s large population decreases due to hunting pressure, lead poisoning from ingestion of lead shot, and the gradual loss of both suitable breeding and wintering habitats had them listed as "Special Concern". Fortunately they experienced a significant rebound in the 1990s.

Wild Canvasback was a popular table delicacy in fashionable society in the 19th century.

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