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Featured in "The World As We See It…or as we missed it – September 12, 2010

Coots are medium-sized water birds that are members of the rail family Rallidae. They constitute the genus Fulica. Coots have predominantly black plumage, and, unlike many of the rails, they are usually easy to see, often swimming in open water. They are close relatives of the moorhen.

The greatest species variety is in South America, and it is likely that the genus originated there. They are common in Europe and North America.

They have prominent frontal shields or other decoration on the forehead, and colored bills, and many, but not all, have white on the under tail. Like other rails, they have lobed toes. The featherless shield gave rise to the expression “as bald as a coot”, which the Oxford English Dictionary cites in use as early as 1430.

They tend to have short, rounded wings and are weak fliers, although northern species are nevertheless capable of covering long distances; the American Coot has reached Great Britain and Ireland on rare occasions. Those species that migrate do so at night.

Coots can walk and run vigorously on strong legs, and have long toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces.

These birds are omnivorous, taking mainly plant material, but also small animals and eggs. They are aggressively territorial during the breeding season, but are otherwise often found in sizeable flocks on the shallow vegetated lakes they prefer. A flock of coots is known in the US as a cover.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi; Sigma 150-500mm lens @500mm
Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada


american coot, bird, coot, diamondwillowdesigns, vickie emms, waterfowl

Self taught photographer enjoying retirement in travel and meeting fellow members of Redbubble.

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  • icesrun
    icesrunover 3 years ago

    So very cute just sitting right where he can get something to eat!! I enjoyed the information on him. At first thought it was a duck but the beak was different. Good capture!!

  • thank you Cianna

    – Vickie Emms

  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottover 3 years ago

    lovely capture

  • thank you Robert

    – Vickie Emms

  • trish725
    trish725over 3 years ago

  • Cherubtree
    Cherubtreeover 3 years ago

    Love these little guys..beautifully framed. Love to listen to them coot..:-)

  • thanks so much Cherub

    – Vickie Emms

  • Stan Wojtaszek
    Stan Wojtaszekover 3 years ago

    Nice work, Vickie !
    Congratrs on the feature, too. :)

  • thanks so much Stan!

    – Vickie Emms

  • Kim McClain Gregal
    Kim McClain Gr...over 3 years ago

    Excellent capture!

  • thank you Kim

    – Vickie Emms

  • Eeva47
    Eeva47over 3 years ago

    Great photo and enjoyed the info!

  • thanks so much Eeva

    – Vickie Emms

  • Teresa Zieba
    Teresa Ziebaover 3 years ago

    Oh my, this is fabulous hon. We spent our time in Pincher Creek in a hotel with the storm raging outside. No opps for photos. Very beautiful capture dear friend.

  • thanks hon, we took some backroads around PC and were there several times during our two weeks in WAterton. Lots of waterfowl ponds

    – Vickie Emms

  • BigCatPhotos
    BigCatPhotosover 3 years ago

    I love the water on its feathers. Lovely work again.

  • thank you BigCat

    – Vickie Emms

  • PrairieRose
    PrairieRoseover 3 years ago

    They are SO CUTE!
    Wonderful composition and clarity for sure!

  • thank you dear friend

    – Vickie Emms

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