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Canvasback: for more photos, see Sitka Nature Photo Gallery for Aythya valisineria
Locale   Sp     Su     F     W     Br  
SE Alaska (edit) R VR R R -
Yakutat (edit) R VR R - -
Skagway (edit) Ir Ir Ir - -
Haines (edit) U - U - -
Glacier Bay (edit) R + R VR -
Juneau (edit) O VR O VR -
Sitka (edit) VR - R VR -
Stikine (edit)
S Outer Islands (edit)
Ketchikan (edit) - - VR - -
Offshore (edit)
Canvasback (Aythya valisineria): Rare to Very Rare migrant, more often seen in the Fall than Spring. Usually only small numbers (<5) observed at any particular location. Very Rare in Summer. Although no more than Very Rare at any single location, in many years one or two have been reported from somewhere in the region.

Apparently less common in the southern parts of the region than the north.

  • N-S gradient of abundance - real or artifact of reporting locations?
  • Really Uncommon in Haines during migration? cf. Skagway Ir
  • Typical fall migration arrival? Based on Sitka, seems they tend to be October or later
  • Updated W to R from VR

SEAK QBR Mentions:

  • F2008: This species is a rare fall migrant in SEAK. Near JNU, where small numbers of this species are regularly found, two males were present on 2 October, five on 17 and 20 October, and one was there on 20 November 2008. Another male was found at SIT on 8 November.
  • W2008-09: Late Canvasbacks were found at SIT on 13 December and JNU on 20 December. This species has not been reported annually during the winter in SEAK.
  • Sp2009: Although small numbers of migrants found regularly around JNU, seven 29 April was a large count for the area.
  • F2009: Typical small numbers of this rare fall migrant were found at JNU, with four 15 September the earliest and maximum. A single male was also found at SIT21–29 October.
  • W2009-10: This species has not been reported annually during the winter in SEAK, so one at JNU from late December through the end of the period was noteworthy.
  • Sp2010: JNU’s wintering bird last noted 21 March. Small numbers of migrants observed in northern SEAK between 21 April 2010 (two at JNU) and 17 May (one at GUS). Nine flying north in GB 5 May and eight at HNS 7 May were large counts for SEAK, where this species is typically a rare migrant (Kessel and Gibson 1978). In addition, two were found at Mitkof Island 16 May.
  • Su2010: A casual or very rare summer visitant to SEAK, so singles in the JNU area at the Mendenhall Wetlands 5 July 2010 (female) and Point Bridget S.P. 8 July (male) were noteworthy.
  • F2010: One at GUS 31 October was joined by a second bird 12 November and at least two were also found at SIT 28 September–18 October. Maximum at JNU was 10 on 27–30 October. This duck is a rare fall migrant in southeast Alaska (Kessel and Gibson 1978), and it occurs annually in the JNU area.
  • W2010-11: Two were found at near GUS, 15 December. In the JNU area, one was found 16 December 2010 (PMS), followed by two 21 December. Although this species has been considered casual during the winter in SEAK (Kessel and Gibson 1978), it has been reported over the past four winters and is likely a very rare winter visitant.
  • Sp2011: Few reports this spring—one at GUS 14 May and two there 20–22 May, and one at JNU 21 May. This species is typically a rare migrant in SEAK (Kessel and Gibson 1978).
  • F2011: Reported at GUS 14–31 October, including a maximum of nine on the last date, and at JNU, a single bird 7–20 October.
  • Sp2012: A rare migrant in SEAK (Kessel and Gibson 1978). It has been reported most frequently in the JNU area, where up to three birds 25 April–20 May provided the only reports this spring.
  • Su2012: At least two near JNU, 6–29 June provided very rare summer reports for SEAK.
  • F2012: SIT (one, 21 October) and JNU (several, 22 September–12 November). This duck is a rare fall migrant in southeast Alaska (Kessel and Gibson 1978).
  • Sp2013: More widely reported than usual this spring: at least three were found in the JNU area 13 March–23 May, one–two at GUS 17 April–10 May, six in the HNS area 13 May, two at SGY 16 May, and two in the Stikine River area 24 May. The Canvasback is a rare migrant in SEAK (Kessel and Gibson 1978).
  • F2013: Singles at GUS 28 September–5 October and 7 October and at the Mendenhall Wetlands 3 November provided the only reports this fall.
  • Sp2014: A rare migrant in SEAK (Kessel and Gibson 1978). Singles at GUS 3 May and 14 May and JNU 19 April provided the only reports.
  • F2014: Sightings included up to three in the JNU area during October and one at SIT 20 October.
  • W2014-15: One at GUS 11–12 December followed by two there 28 January provided the only reports of this rare winter visitant.
  • Sp2015: Reported in typical small numbers at HNS (four, 16 April; one, 3 May), GUS (one, 26 April−1 May), and JNU (three, 4−8 May; five, 4 May; one, 9 May).
  • Su2015: A casual or very rare summer visitant to SEAK, so one near JNU, 3−14 June was noteworthy.
  • F2015: Singles at GUS 29 and 30 September were followed by two 18 October. Another was found at WRG 18−19 November.
  • W2015-16: One near SIT in early December stayed for nearly a month.
  • Sp2016: Reported in ones-twos in the JNU area 11–28 May, with a maximum of three at the Mendenhall Wetlands 14 May.
  • F2016: Found at three locations: one at SIT 6−22 October, one at the Stikine River delta 6 November, and up to six at GUS 9−14 November.
  • Sp2017: Reported only at GUS: one on 28 April, followed by two on 1 May and four on 3 May.
  • F2017: Sightings included two at GUS 3–8 October, two at Neka Bay, Chichagof Island, 19 October, and singles at SIT 17–20 November and JNU 21 October–6 November.
  • W2017-18: Singles (possibly the same bird) were observed in the JNU area at Twin Lakes 10–12 December 2017 and the Mendenhall Wetlands 21–25 February. Another was observed at Bartlett Cove, GB, 5 December.
  • Sp2018: One at SIT 8–31 May, one at SGY 29 April, singles at the Mendenhall Wetlands 7 April and 16 May.
  • F2018: Sightings included a pair at Auke Bay 29 September, one at Twin Lakes, JNU, 15 November 2018+, two at Craig 24 October, two at HNH, 25 October, and four at GUS 27 October, followed by one–two there through 17 November.

Local Notes

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Other References

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