• WordNet 3.6
    • n canvasback North American wild duck valued for sport and food
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Canvasback (Zoöl) A Species of duck (Aythya vallisneria), esteemed for the delicacy of its flesh. It visits the United States in autumn; particularly Chesapeake Bay and adjoining waters; -- so named from the markings of the plumage on its back.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n canvasback A North American duck of the family Anatidæ and subfamily Fuligulinæ, the Fuligula (or Aristonetta) vallisneria, highly esteemed for the delicacy of its flesh. It is found in North America at large, breeding from the Northern States northward, and wintering in the Middle States and southward, being especially abundant in winter along the Atlantic coast, where it feeds much on the wild celery, Vallisneria spiralis, and is then in the best condition for the table. The name is derived from the color of the back, which is white, very finely vermiculated with narrow, zigzag, blackish bars or rows of dots. In general, the canvasback closely resembles the common pochard or redhead, Fuligula ferina, but the bill and head are differently shaped. The head is not coppery-red, as in the pochard, but dusky reddish-brown, and the size is greater.
    • ***


In literature:

And they learned to eat roasted mallard and canvasback in the California style of sixteen minutes in a hot oven.
"The Valley of the Moon" by Jack London
I told James 'twas a canvasback, and he blazed away at it, but missed it by three fathom, as might have been expected.
"Cape Cod Stories" by Joseph C. Lincoln
We had turtle, and, among other good things, American canvasback ducks.
"Passages From the English Notebooks, Volume 2" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
He is a twin brother of the Canvasback, and quite as good to eat.
"Citizen Bird" by Mabel Osgood Wright and Elliott Coues
They was like amateurs blazin' away at canvasback.
"Dutch Courage and Other Stories" by Jack London
When this news was understood by men, the shocked aristocracy let their canvasbacks grow cold and their burgundy stand untasted.
"The President" by Alfred Henry Lewis
Canvasbacks and redheads fattened on eel grass or wild celery are notable exceptions.
"Ducks at a Distance" by Robert W. Hines
Helena herself selected two woodcock and approved the judgment of Jean in canvasback.
"The Lady and the Pirate" by Emerson Hough
You wouldn't expect champagne, terrapin, and canvasback ducks?
"Ladies-In-Waiting" by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Ducks, mallards and canvasbacks, feed and fatten in the shallow water among the reeds.
"Sigurd Our Golden Collie and Other Comrades of the Road" by Katharine Lee Bates

In poetry:

But should you want a hearty meal,
And not this gourmet's lightsome snack,
Fill up with terrapin and teal,
Clam chowder, crabs, and canvasback;
With all varieties of sauce,
And diff'rent wines for ev'ry course.
"Enough is as Good as a Feast" by Harry Graham

In news:

They also trapped and banded goldeneyes, ringnecks, redheads and canvasbacks and placed bands on 150 Canada geese.
View full size Dave Menke/USFWS bald eagle grips a canvasback duck in its talons in Klamath Basin.
The daily bag limit on ducks is six and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, one canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, two scaup and two redheads.
But unlike canvasbacks, scaup didn't dive all the way to the bottom.
Karnes' guides lead his guests to a variety of shooting, but the lodge's specialty is gunning canvasbacks and redheads over decoys set along windswept shorelines bordering open water.