|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|It is very difficult to expose right on this bird, it is black and the beak is (almost) pure white, for details on the black feathers you need to be on the edge with the beak's exposure when it gets the sun light on it, I hope you will like this picture, it looks like the coot is watching itself in its own reflection :)|
Common Coot - Fulica atra
36-40 cm, 600-1200 g, wingspan 70-80 cm.
Distinguished from Red-knobbed Coot by greater contrast between black head and neck and somewhat paler body, white tips to secondaries, lack of red knobs at top frontal shield , and pointed projection of loral feathering between bill and shield.
Sexes alike, female averages smaller. Races separated on, amount of white on tips of secondaries, much reduced or absent in australis and novaeguinea . Size, nominate larger than lugubris and underpart color darker in novaeguinea then australis
Calls often metallic,resonant,querulous particularly sharp and high when birds agitated. Often noisy.
Large, still or slow moving waters. Inhabits lakes, pools, ponds, barrages, canals, rivers, marshes and lagoons also lakes and pools in towns.
Prefers fairly shallow waters with room to dive and with muddy bottom well furnished with marginal, emergent, floating or submerged vegetation. In winter will resort to quiet estuarine or inshore sea waters,and often occurs on fast rivers where suitable vegetation flourishes.
Food and Feeding
Omnivorous, but primarily vegetarian. eats mainly vegetative parts and seeds of aquatic and sometimes terrestrial plants. Takes plant debris drifting on water surface.
Animal food eaten includes worms, leeches, shrimps, insects, fish, frogs, birds and their eggs and small mammals.
Feeds in flocks on land, grazing near water, especially when wind causes high waves. Diurnal, but often active at night on moonlit nights or on floodlit waters.
Europe, Feb-Spt. N Africa, Mar-Jun. India, Nov-Dec. Australia, Aug-Feb.
Gregarious, but monogamous, territorial and pugnacious when breeding. Pair-bonds may sometimes be retained in flocking and migratory populations.
Nest almost always in shallow water, usually in emergent vegetation but sometimes in open. Normally resting on bottom or trampled foundation of vegetation, occasionally floating, artificial platforms, rafts, tree stumps and tree forks.
Both sexes build. 6-10 eggs, incubation 21-25 days, by both parents. Black downy chick has orange to yellow tips to down of neck and side of head, wings and mantle, bill and shield red. first breeding older then 1 year. May have 2 broods per season.
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