She’s A Survivor

From my balcony, I have been watching and photographing another one of my ‘backyard’ birds for a couple months now, a female Canvasback.

Because she is still here in Maryland and had not migrated to the northwest U.S. and Canada to breed, and she looked healthy, I knew that she was probably injured.

I instantly smile when I see her, swimming around, in and out of the marinas, going up and down the length of the creek.  I named her Cassie.


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Female Canvasback “Cassie”


I also love watching Cassie take her ‘baths’, she looks like she enjoys them so much.  It was when I first saw her dunking and stretching that I observed Cassie’s right wing was severely damaged.

Despite her injury, here’s a beautiful Canvasback bathing in a nine-frame slideshow!



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Female Canvasback enjoying a few dunks and stretches.  Notice her injured right wing.


To get out of the creek periodically, Cassie uses marina ladders and woodwork under the docks and around the bulkheads.  Here she can preen and rest a little out of the water.


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Female Canvasback resting on a marina ladder.


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Female Canvasback preening on another marina ladder just below me.


 Cassie is a welcomed sight, no matter the weather.

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A shower begins to fall on Cassie.


With her disability, Cassie will have it rough the rest of her life as she continues to survive the challenging world surrounding her.

I will continue to enjoy the opportunities I get to watch Cassie.  She’s a sweetheart.


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Cassie smiling for the world!


And for now……she’s a survivor.


39 thoughts on “She’s A Survivor

  1. I so loved this highlight of Cassie the Survivor, Donna. A great reminder and inspiration of how we all get through our tough times. Wonderful post and photos.

    • She is a sweetheart. 🙂 Canvasbacks migrate to the Chesapeake Bay region over the winter and are widely hunted (as all ducks are). I imagine she was shot in flight along the Choptank River and managed to work her way into the commercial/residential creek. I guess she could have also been attacked by a predator (like an eagle) and got away some how. I am glad Bella & Beau don’t mind her! 🙂

  2. She is a pretty one! And sadly reminds me of a wonderful blue heron I saw last summer, who, at the beginning of the fall was sitting in an awkward position. Then, when I took a picture and zoomed in I saw it was hurt and had blood on the right wing. Then I realized I heard gun shots the week before.. it was the hunting season. I wonder if it survived over the winter, it was such a nice view in our little bay.
    I hope Cassie will recover soon!!

    • Thank you Christie. Awww….so sorry to hear about what you saw, it tugs at your heart to see injured wildlife. Duck hunting is huge around the Chesapeake Bay also, and is primarily the reason the spring has injured ducks and geese that become residents. We’re rooting for Cassie, that’s for sure! 🙂

  3. i am an avid watcher of those vet shows that rescue and help mend animals. Will she survive if she doesn’t get her wing repaired? This is a nice documentary of a resilient duck.

    • I really am not sure how long she can survive alone without flying. Around the Chesapeake Bay area, duck hunting is wide-spread. I’ve seen many injured Canada Geese here over the summer that become residents and survive. But usually they are in groups which can help with survival. We’ll keep happy thoughts going for Cassie to be a fighter!

  4. It’s sad that a creature becomes handicapped and limited. Her risks have increased enormously! I wish that her wing bones heal and she is able to live a normal life. Very interesting post Donna, thank you! 🙂

    • Thank you HJ. Do wing bones heal enough to regrow feathers? I guess it depends on how bad the damage is. Hopefully, she is a figher and I’ll be able to watch and see what becomes of her wing.

  5. Beautiful shots of Cassie. Sad to see any of them injured like that. Thanks for sharing these marvelous images of our feathered friends.

  6. Lovely pictures! You seem to have an endless supply of interesting birds to keep your attention and your camera busy! And the good news is you don’t have to go out into the heat, the sun, the flies, the ticks, etc, etc to get your beautiful shots!

  7. Pingback: Cassie Canvasback – Remember Me? | Photos by Donna

  8. Pingback: “Cassie” Canvasback’s Return | Photos by Donna

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