The Canvas-back

(A . vallisneria) which as above indicated is often confused with the Red-head is a larger bird and has the head and neck rufous-brown, the chin and crown blackish, and the bill deeper at base and larger, but otherwise they are similar. This bird is also found enerally throughout North America, but nests only in the interior from Minnesota and Dakota northward to the Arctic Circle. Mr. Bent, whom we have quoted several times, found a number of their nests in the Devil’s Lake region, North Dakota. One nest containing eight eggs he describes as follows: “It was a large nest built upon a bulky mass of wet dead weeds, measuring eighteen inches by twenty inches in outside diameter, the rim being built up six inches above the water, the inner cavity being about eight inches across by four inches deep. It was lined with smaller pieces of dead reeds and a little gray down. The small patch of reeds was completely surrounded by open water about knee deep, and the nest was so well concealed in the center of it as to be invisible from the outside.” Another nest, also in a clump of reeds and surrounded by water over knee deep, “was beautifully made of dead reeds firmly interwoven, held in place by the growing reeds about it, and sparingly lined with gray down.” The eggs are similar to those of the Red-head except that they are much darker. In winter the Canvas-back is found from the Chesapeake Bay to the Greater Antilles, being especially abundant on the bays and marshes of the Carolina coast, where it is procured in great numbers for the northern markets. It is highly prized by epicures, although by some it is regarded as no better or even inferior to the Red-head in this respect. Many devices are resorted to to secure the birds, such as shooting from a blind, attracting them within range by means of decoys of various kinds, a blinding light used at night, and by nets set over their feeding grounds. The two last mentioned are considered very unsportsmanlike and moreover are unlawful.