Maryland Could Get New State Symbol - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Could Get New State Symbol

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Canvasback Duck Canvasback Duck

SALISBURY, Md.- Maryland might be getting a new state symbol added to the list. 

A proposed bill would name the canvasback duck, also known as the "king of ducks," as the new state waterfowl. The duck would be the first state symbol added officially since 2008. 

Lora Bottinelli, executive director of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, said it came as no surprise to her that the canvasback was chosen for this honor. 

"The canvasback is a really important bird to Maryland history so it doesn't surprise me that this was the species that was selected to be the state waterfowl," Botinelli said. 

The bird also has a lot of history on Maryland's Eastern Shore. 

"When the canvasback migrate to the Chesapeake Bay region they're here to winter and they feed on the sea grasses of the Chesapeake Bay," Botinelli said. "They are also heavily hunted. They are a part of what has sustained the growth of the bay." 

The canvasback is also well known for its beauty and can be easily spotted. Angie Robinson, who works as the museum bookkeeper, said, "I think that this is just a beautiful bird. The coloring on it with the red on the head and the beautiful white back. They're very distinctive and very easy to see when they're out on the water." 

The bird's population in Maryland is about 80,000 and almost 800,000 nationwide. 

The next step for the bill is a hearing before a state House committee, which has not yet been scheduled. 

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