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Eurasian Coot

Eurasian Coot
Photo Information
Copyright: Dorota Mazurowska (blue-velvet29) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 199 W: 53 N: 165] (912)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-08-08
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/3.2
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-03-21 12:57
Viewed: 3678
Points: 11
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), or just Coot, is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae.

It breeds across much of the Old World on freshwater lakes and ponds. 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 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.

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 travelling a short distance at speed (to escape a rival, for example, or to dispute possession of a choice morsel). 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.

It is largely black except for the white facial shield (which gave rise to the phrase "as bald as a coot"). As a swimming species, the Coot has partial webbing on its long strong toes. (See illustration below.) 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, some time later. The bird in the photo (right) is an immature at this stage, about 4-10 months old.

This species builds a nest of dead reeds near the water's edge, laying up to 10 eggs.

The Coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds.

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

From Wikipedia


loot, dew77, PDP, Luc has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-03-21 16:00]

Hi Dorota,
Not one of your best shots to be honest, the detail is soft and the bird is dark. However I must say I think you really have an eye for colour, your shots have fantastic colours and the colours in this are great, the soft copper colour of the water and the deep blue of the bird really contrast well.
Best regards,

Nicely captured Dorota,
Good clear and sharp detail. Good colours, composition and exposure.
Thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-03-21 22:48]
  • [2]

Hi Dorota
Another colourful water scene with one of these coots. I must say, I tend to agree with what Adrian said about the softness, but that was probably brought about by the slow shutter speed at 1/85 that either caught a bit of camera movement or a bit of subject movement. Looking at the details on the feet inside the water I am tempted to think it was the bird that moved ever so slightly.
The colours and the composition are very nice though, catching the shady reflection in the water.
Thanks for posting and enjoy the rest of your week.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-03-22 3:45]

Hello Dorota!
Very nice capture.I liked POV,colors,reflectiond on water,
framing and composition a lot.TFS...:-)

  • Good 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-03-23 3:04]

Hello Dorota, Nice composition. I'm afraid this isn't up to the usual standard we have come to expect from you. I think it is a little too dark and the coot is very soft in focus. The lighting is a great colour.

Well done.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-03-25 14:06]

Very good Dorota, I like the way we can see its feet in the water, in its shadow. Well done and thanks.


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