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Eurasian Coot

Eurasian Coot
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-07-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital JPEG
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-10-17 6:36
Viewed: 2938
Points: 59
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
One of the most common birds in my neighborhood.

The Eurasian Coot, Fulica atra, also known as Coot, is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae. The Australian subspecies is known as the Australian Coot.

The Coot breeds across much of the Old World on freshwater lakes and ponds. It occurs and breeds in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. The species has recently expanded its range into New Zealand. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, but migrates further south and west from much of Asia in winter as the waters freeze.

The Coot is 36–42 cm long, and is largely black except for the white facial shield (which gave rise to the phrase "as bald as a coot", which the Oxford English Dictionary cites in use as early as 1430). As a swimming species, the Coot has partial webbing on its long strong toes.
The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult black plumage develops when about 3–4 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old.

This is a noisy bird with a wide repertoire of crackling, explosive, or trumpeting calls, often given at night.

The Coot is much less secretive than most of the rail family, and can be seen swimming on open water or walking across waterside grasslands. It is an aggressive species, and strongly territorial during the breeding season, and both parents are involved in territorial defense. During the non-breeding season they may form large flocks, possibly related to predator avoidance.

It is reluctant to fly and when taking off runs across the water surface with much splashing. They do the same, but without actually flying, when traveling a short distance at speed in territorial disputes. As with many rails, its weak flight does not inspire confidence, but on migration, usually at night, it can cover surprisingly large distances. It bobs its head as it swims, and makes short dives from a little jump.

This species builds a nest of dead reeds or grasses, but also pieces of paper or plastic near the water's edge or on underwater obstacles protruding from the water, laying up to 10 eggs, sometimes 2 or 3 times per season. Usually only a few young survive. They are frequent prey for birds such as herons and gulls.
Coots can be very brutal to their own young under pressure such as the lack of food. They will bite young that are begging for food and repeatedly do this until it stops begging and starves to death. But if the begging keeps going, then they may even bite so hard that the chick is killed.

The Coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds, as well as algae, vegetation, seeds and fruit. It shows considerable variation in its feeding techniques, grazing on land or in the water. In the water it may upend in the fashion of a Mallard or dive in search of food.

The Eurasian Coot is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Alex99, maurydv, xTauruSx, horias, bahadir, goatman04, marianas, boreocypriensis, marius-secan, siggi, nglen, vanderschelden, cirano, ferranjlloret, nasokoun, zulfu, anemone, Dis. Ac., Noisette, MMM, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To vanderschelden: NieuwkoopPeterZ 1 10-17 12:36
To ellis49: compositionPeterZ 1 10-17 06:56
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-10-17 6:46]

Hi Peter.
First of all I am impressed with precise exposure. It is difficult to achieve correct exposure of the beak and forehead against the dark colouration of the feathers. You have done this perfectly. I also like wonderful reproduction of the water surface. Its amazing and great as a BG. Framing of this mode is creative and nice/ Well done, my friend and TFS.

Hello Peter,
you did very well with the exposure, the Coot is not easy
to right, with the black plumage and the bright beak, all details are well seen, very nice.
The POV is low and nice but I'm not sure about the composition,
I want to see more of the bird, maybe in landscape format.
Nevertheless it's a good picture.
Well done, mf.
Have a nice WE.


Ciao Peter, great portrait with fantastic red eye, superb details and excellent sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter,
what a fantastic portrait of the Eurasian Coot taken from an excellent POV with superb sharpness and lighting, marvellous colours, i like this very nice close composition
Have a good weekend

Ciao Peter. An elegant and sharpeened expressiv portrait. Very good work with beautiful bright and contrasted colours.


hallo Peter
super mooie kop ,met mooie rode ogen
zeer goed genomen met veel schepte en goed licht
een plaatje
groetjes lou

Hello Peter, excellent shot of this cute Euroasian coot with nice details and composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-10-17 7:27]

Lovely red eye duck!
Great and sharp capture!

Hello Peter, lovely shot of this coot from nice point of view.
Details and composition are great.
TFS and regards, Bahadır

Hello Peter,

An excellent portrait of this Eurasian Coot with beautiful coloration, sharpness & fine details. Very nicely done with lovely POV.

TFS & best regards


Wonderful this Eurasian Coot!
Lovely colors, great eyes!

Hi Peter,

Beautiful and impeccable portrait capture of this fine looking cute coot:) from nice POV with fine composition.
TFS and have a nice night MF!


Hello Peter,
Very good close up, nice natural colours and excellent details.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-10-17 11:10]

Hello Peter,
Very good portrait of this coot, excellent details and eye contact, great colors
really well done.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-10-17 11:17]

Hi Peter. Common it maybe but you have taken a first class close up showing every little detail in the wet feathers. The red eye and white bill stand out so well. All with natural colours and interesting notes. well taken TFS,

Have a nice Sunday.

Hallo Peter,
Heel mooi daar in Nieuwkoop met al dat water. Ben er deze zomer geweest. Vond dat de watervogels er precies niet zo schuw zijn bvb de reigers. Moet mooi wonen in een huis omringd door water. Vroeg me wel in hoeverre jullie last hebben als 't bijvoorbeeld overvloedig regent.
Behoorlijk moeilijk om deze coots te benaderen in normale omstandigheden. Blijkbaar zijn ze mensen gewoon.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-10-17 14:36]

Slav Peter,
Very good portrait of the Eurasian Coot with impressive sharpness and taken from a great POV.Nice colors and bright.TFS.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6550 W: 89 N: 15638] (65411)
  • [2009-10-17 15:44]

Hi Peter,the detail of the red eyes is enough to pay the prize of ticket..eheh...impressive portrait whit a fantastic quality,sharpness and colors fantastics and very interesting note too...thanks for share,have a nice Sunday,LUCIANO.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2009-10-17 19:30]

Hi Peter,
Outstanding shot and I like this cool pose and the red eye. Excellent light and sharpness and I like your composition. Kudos.

Hi Peter,
Nice portrait of the Eurasian Coot, excellents colors and details.
TFS. Regards. Ferran.

hello Peter
impressive close up beautiful frame,with very good output in fine colours and in good sarp details!
TFS thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-10-18 2:10]

Hello Peter, wonderful close-up shot of this beautiful Coot with nice composition and POV.
TFS and G's,

Hi Peter
Wonderful photo of this lovely bird.. POV, DOF and composition are great.
Best regards

Buen enfoque al motivo y acertado encuadre con esos cortes tan origionales a medio cuerpo del ave, una técnica poco vista.
Un abrazo y buen Domingo Peter: J. Ignasi.

Hallo Peter,

zo dit is nog eens een haarzuiver portret van deze moeilijke te fotograferende vogel, niet om voor de lens te krijgen maar qua kleurstelling.
Erg goede detailering en prachtige warme kleuren.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-10-18 12:18]

Hello Peter,
A fine close portrait of a Eurasian Coot taken from a good POV to show the head and neck with superb sharpness, colours, lighting and excellent eye contact against a nice diffuse water BG. It is amazing how red the eye is when seen close to.
Thanks and have a good week,

Hello Peter
Wow ! wonderful portrait of this Eurasian Coot, the details are splendid
superb POV and coloration
i like his red eye, and also the tender color of the water
have a good night

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2009-10-20 9:41]

Hi Peter
Great closed up.Good POV and amasing plumage detail from that crystal sharp image.I like that contrast beetween the eye color and the plumage.
TFS Michel

Nice picture of the coot. Good details and well exposed.

As a suggestion: Perhaps a lower angle would had made it even better.


hello Peter

Beautiful portrait of the Eurasian Coot, fine POV,
beautiful soft light, excellent focus, sharpness, details, TFS


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