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Bird  Coots

Coot - Photo © Copyright 2001 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
Get help identifying wetland birds with the beautifully illustrated fold out ID chart in the Nature shop - click here

Latin name: Fulica atra

Size: Grows to around 36cms.

Distribution: Found throughout most of the UK

Months seen: All year round

Habitat: Ponds, lakes, rivers and reservoirs.

Food: Aquatic plants and insects

Special features: Their plumage is black, and they have a featherless white patch, or shield, just above their white beak. Their legs are yellow/green in colour, and their feet, which are lobed, are light grey. During the breeding season (March to April), coots often fight for territory with their long claws.

The nest is built on water from reeds and grasses. The female lays between 6 and 9 eggs, and both parents take turns at incubating the eggs, which take around 23 days to hatch.

Click for a closer viewCoot chicks, which are born between April and June, are all black with a hairy red patch on their head and blue stripes around the eyes.

Track Down More Info

UK Safari Wildfowl Section

 © 2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved