American Coot - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image American Coot - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image American Coot - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image American Coot - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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American Coot
Fulica americana

Rails and Coots
Rails and Coots (Rallidae)

Size: Length: 33-41 cm Wingspan: 58-71 cm

Description: You won't likely mistake this unusual bird for any other. It resembles a stalky black duck, but lacks the flat bill. Its body is entirely black with the exception of white undertail coverts. There is a small red patch on the forehead. The beak resembles that of other rails, white with a prominent black ring near the tip. The eye is red and the legs yellow. The feet are not webbed like those of a duck, but lobed like a grebe. They both dabble and dive when searching for aquatic insects, algae, and submerged plants. The call is unremarkable, but distinctive. It resembles a low "kuk" once or twice a second. They build a floating nest using marsh vegetation. They may anchor it to cattails, and both sexes take turns incubating the eggs. After 23-24 days the young hatch, leaving the nest shortly after.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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