American Coot

6 November 2011

American Coot
An American Coot browses the pond at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary looking for dinner.

I think that the American Coot is a kind of funny animal. It’s a waterbird, but it feels (and looks) like a chicken that fell in the water. I’ve never seen a garden–variety hen try to swim, but I can’t imagine that it would go that well. Coots — lacking webbed feet — are surprisingly mobile in the water.

The American Coot stands out among other waterfowl due to it’s white hen–beak, black plumage, and distinctly un–webbed feet. Even in a large flock of ducks, swans, and geese, it is usually quite easy to see an American Coot. And usually, that is where I see them. Yesterday, though, I found a lone American Coot circling around a pond. It dove every few minutes coming back mostly with plant matter. On one occasion it did score a small fish.

American Coot
The coot appears to have grabbed a fish in this shot.

I have a few more pictures up on flickr, but overall yesterday was not a great birding day.