Cans or the canvasback duck is considered by many to be the king of ducks. Great eating of a large bird made them famous in the market gunning days. So much attention to their market qualities have lead to a population problem. Combine this with habitat loss and wintering ground loss and you can understand why the Can is in trouble. Frequently season is closed or severly restricted on Cans even though our Canadian friends are more liberal in season and limits on Cans.
Mallard sized and fast, noisey flyers they can make your day. A long time ago a fellow described them as appearing as big as boxcars coming into the spread. In NE we were ducking low because of the wing rush noise directly over our head in a ground blind on a small pot hole.
Major breeding areas are the Dakotas into Alberta and Saskatchewan and I have run into some of the small colony that breed in the sand hills of NE.
Small brood ponds are the preferred habitat for nesting. Nests are often in cattails or cane over6 to 24 inches of water. Clutch size of 9 in un parasitized nests and 7 eggs when the Redhead lays her eggs with the Can clutch. Hatched ducklings appear after about 25 days. Predation is caused by raccoon and skunks along with crows and magpies. Flooding is also a loss problem. A thing to remember is that the raccoon population has expanded into the prairies since 1949.
My information is gleaned from Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America by Frank C. Bellrose, a book I recommend for anyone interested in waterfowl.
These are the MCN cans as seen in Waterfowler.com Journal. I have made deep water decoys and decoys for the pothole country that you have to carry in.
These decoys are for smaller waters. Lighter, lower profile and keel. They are not self righting. Designed to carry into the smaller waters I have experienced in the prairie pot hole region. Some have wooden inserts for tails. I have mixed opinions about that and will check in after they have a couple of seasons of use.
I love hens, but I add very few to my diver spread. These are old pictures and I will add updated ones when I carve more cans. These are deep water birds, selfrighting, larger keels and higher profiles is the order of the day.