In Waterfowl & Shorebirds/ Wildlife

American Coot

American Coot

American Coot

The American coot is widely spread across North America and commonly mistaken for a duck. The bird is a glossy black with a white bill that has a blackish band around the middle of it.

What They Look Like

The bird is all black with a thick with a bill that has a black band, white frontal shield with a red spot near the top of the bill between the eyes. The males and females look the same, but the females are smaller in appearance.

Where Can The Birds Be Found?

Coots are found near water freshwater sources, they enjoy the habitats of wetlands and marshes.

Coots are found near water freshwater sources, they enjoy the habitats of wetlands and marshes.

Notice Those Feet

The feet of the coot is not weblike like a duck, each toe does have a scalloped web but the toes are not connected.  This helps the coot to skulk through the thick grass of marshes to avoid observation.

The feet of the coot is not weblike like a duck, each toe does have a scalloped web but the toes are not connected. This helps the coot to skulk through the thick grass of marshes to avoid observation.

The birds stand on one leg for birds minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs lie in contact with the veins that return colder blood to the bird’s heart. The arteries warm the veins.

Breeding

The birds mate in May and June and have a unique courtship where the males bow and nibble on the females to gain the female’s attention. The males will try to cross the female’s beak with his own and the courtship will be noted as consent.

After bill crossing, the couple will pick a spot and build a nest. Nests are built either out of floating piles of decayed vegetation or are built of dead reeds in clumps of reeds on the bank, The eggs number from six to sixteen and have a grayish color with fine black speckles all over the surface.

Juvenile coots have olive-brown crowns and a gray body. They do not gain their adult coloring until they are around 4 months of age.

Juvenile birds have olive-brown crowns and a gray body. They do not gain their adult coloring until they are around 4 months of age.

More Pictures Of Coots

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