|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
American Coots are migratory birds native to the Nearctic region. During the summer, these birds are found centered around the freshwater lakes and ponds of the northern United States and southern Canada. During the winter they head to the southern portion of the United States from California to Florida.
American Coots are about 38 cm long and, during the winter, will weigh up to almost 900 g. They have a wingspan of 58 to 71 cm. Their feathers are dark grey, with a white patch under the tail. The bill is also white, with a red swelling along the upper edge. The males and females look alike. The lobed toes make the coot a powerful swimmer, especially in open water. Though able to fly, the coot has short rounded wings which make it difficult to take off. Once in the air, the coot can fly as well as any other bird.
American Coots are social birds that live in groups called flocks. They are the only members of the rail family to live in groups. They are most active during the day. They are migratory, and migrate as a flock. Their migration, though, is based on the weather and therefore highly irregular.
American Coots can make a wide variety of noises, from grunting to clucking, as a means of communication, between each other and to threatening predators. There are two times a coot will splash: during mating season to attract attention and to discourage predators. American Coots also use their good sense of vision to communicate.
Males and females work together to build a nest that is about 35 cm across. These nests are located at the edge of the reed cover of a pond. All nests have a ramp that leads into the water so the young have easier access when coming and going from the nest. Females lay 8-10 eggs at a time. The eggs are a pink color with brown spots.
Both the male and female incubate the eggs, which means the parents take turns keeping the eggs warm until they hatch. The eggs hatch about 23 days after the female lays them. The young look like the adults, except they are lighter in color. Both parents share the job of feeding and teaching their young, dividing the number of chicks between them. After one month, the young can dive underwater for their own food. They can fly 5 to 6 weeks after hatching and are fully independent after about 2 months.
jlinaresp, marius-secan, Adanac, tuslaw has marked this note useful
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It is another one of your pictures that speaks for itself! bravo! beautiful image, good job!
TFS, Regards, Jesús
Great capture with lovely natural colours and superb details.
Very nice job.
- [2010-05-29 15:39]
Hi Manyee,what a very nice and tender moment tou show us today! And what a beautiful composition and excellent quality of sharpness and colors too.Very good work,have a nice Sunday,LUCIANO
Great capture of this family Coot! Excellent sharp details and natural colors.
- [2010-06-01 6:03]
Wonderful image of these parents of this UGLY little one being very as you say attentive. That little guy is sure strange looking, great work Manyee, thank you.