It must be nice to live within the kingdom of the Canvasback. I have, at times, lived where I could go visit some. There were a few ponds on Long Island where I could reliably find a couple of hundred Cans. When I was first married – in the early 70s – I could see over a thousand on Lake Champlain. When I lived in Buffalo we had flocks circling our rig on the Niagara River. The season was closed but it was a sight to see – these really big divers cutting their figure- eights above our heads – with those long silvery wings. They are a great bird to carve and to note the minor differences between them and their other pochard cousins – not much of a tail section and that neck can get mighty tall. I especially savor the Roman nose bump and the stippled canvas on the back.
This pair are Herters Model 72s – the overize styrofoam birds from the late-50s. We have always had a half-dozen in our Broadbill rig
All 6 were refurbished with epoxy + sawdust and new paint.
The strong character of the Canvasback lends itself to all sorts of decorative uses – such as my business card holder, a pair of cabinet handles carved from Black Cherry for a friend…
and , of course, a bow handle – on a canoe I’ve named Canvasback.