The Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), also known as the Common Coot, is a bird in the Rail and Crake family. It is found in Europe, Asia, Australia, and northern Africa. The Australian subspecies is known as the Australian Coot.
The Eurasian Coot is a medium-sized roundish-bodied black bird with a white frontal shield on its head, above its creamy-grey beak. Its head is darker black. Its eyes are round and red. It has grey, partially-webbed feet, which enables it to swim and to walk on swampy land near water. Its tail is very short.
It grows to about 32-42 centimetres (13-17 inches) tall.
The Eurasian Coot prefers freshwater lakes and ponds. It is a wetlands bird.
It does not fly very much. It prefers to run when there is danger.
It is an omnivore because it eats small animals as well as grass and water weeds. It also eats eggs belonging to other birds.
The Eurasian Coot builds a nest of reeds or grasses. Females lay up to 10 eggs, but herons eat most of the eggs.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM