Birdwatching: American Coot

Shy, beautiful while it takes care of business.  It carefully monitors any human activity.  Also a great diver! It disappears as it searches the bottom of the pond.

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The evidence of success, even if its just grass.

American Coot
American Coot *Marcia Verleta

 

It likes company and is seldom on its own.

Well hidden most of the time.  The American Coot is confident too.

The American Coot is a plump, chicken like bird with a rounded head and a sloping bill. Their tiny tail, short wings, and large feet are visible on the rare occasions they take flight.

Coots are dark-gray to black birds with a bright-white bill and forehead. The legs are yellow-green. At close range you may see a small patch of red on the forehead.

You’ll find coots eating aquatic plants on almost any body of water. When swimming they look like small ducks (and often dive), but on land they look more chicken like, walking rather than waddling. An awkward and often clumsy flier, the American Coot requires long running takeoffs to get airborne.

Look for American Coots at ponds in city parks, in marshes, reservoirs, along the edges of lakes, and in roadside ditches, sewage treatment ponds, and saltwater inlets or saltmarshes.

 

 

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Marcia Verleta
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