American coot

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American coot Fulica Americana

Family Ralidae (Rails, Gallinules, Coots): Marsh birds with short tails & short rounded wings.


  • Overall black- darkest on head & neck
  • Outer undertail coverts are white
  • Stubby white bill with dark band near tip
  • Legs: greenish-gray in juveniles, yellow to orange in adults
  • Lobed toes on large feet

Flight: Has a running take off, but then flies strongly. Often walks on lawns & golf courses to graze

Habitat: Common on ponds & marshes, Often in large tight flocks on water & land. Year-round resident. Food: dives for submerged aquatic vegetation; brings to the surface to eat. Grazes on grass.