Description The American Coot (Fulica americana) is a bird of the family Rallidae, inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies. Adults have a short thick white bill and white frontal shield, which usually has a reddish-brown spot near the top of the bill between the eyes. From up close, a dark band can be distinguished at the billtip. The body is grey with the head and neck darker than the rest of the body. Their legs are yellowish, with lobed toes rather than webbed feet. Their chicks have black bodies with bright red head and beak, and orange plumes around the neck. The call is a high-pitched squeaking honk somewhat like a goose's but more hollow sounding. Their breeding habitat is marshes from southern Quebec to the Pacific coast of North America and as far south as northern South America. Birds from temperate North America east of the Rocky Mountains migrate to the southern United States and southern British Columbia. These birds require a great deal of effort to become airborne, pedaling across the water with their feet before lifting off. These birds are frequently seen swimming in open water. They can dive for food but can also forage on land. American Coots are omnivorous, eating plant material, arthropods, fish, and other aquatic animals. They nest in a well-concealed location in tall reeds. Regular, non-nesting-season predators include great horned owls, northern harriers, bald eagles, golden eagles, american alligators, bobcats, great black-backed and california gulls. In fact, coots may locally comprise more than 80% of the diet of bald eagles. Outside the breeding season, particularly in winter, they gather together in sometimes huge groups for protection and socializing. Groups of coots are called covers or rafts.
Daniel Kaufman, Tampa Member Since January 2011 Artist Statement Welcome to my store. I specialize in sunrise, sunset, landscape and bird photography. Many of my photographs can be ordered in larger sizes. All photographs are shot with quality photographic equipment by me.
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