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Horned Coot and Nest

Horned Coot and Nest
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): The Wildlife, Plants and Scenery of Chile [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-09-30 12:55
Viewed: 7991
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This shot was taken in the Laguna Santa Rosa section of the Nevado Tres Cruces National Park. Located in the Atacama Region of Chile at 93.2 miles from Copiapů. Nevado Tres Cruces National Park includes Laguna Santa Rosa, Laguna del Negro Francisco, and a part of the Salar de Maricunga. The park is divided into two zones, the northern zone encompasing the southern portion of Salar de Maricunga and Laguna Santa Rosa, and the southern area the Laguna del Negro Francisco. The park is named after Nevado Tres Cruces, which dominates the landscape of the area.

The Horned Coot (Fulica cornuta) is a species of bird found at lakes in the altiplano of north-western Argentina, south-western Bolivia, and north-eastern Chile. It is almost entirely restricted to altitudes of 3000-5200 m.a.s.l., but has occasionally been recorded at lower altitudes. It is among the largest members of the Rallidae family.

The Horned Coot is monogamous, and sometimes breeds in colonies of up to 80 pairs. The huge nest is typically located about 40 metres from the shore in the waters of the high altitude lakes where it breeds. Pebbles are piled by the birds to form an artificial island that reaches the water surface. This island is then covered with algae to form the nest. It has been estimated that the pebble mounds may weigh as much as 1.5 tons and they are refurbished in each season. They breed from November to January.

This species of coot was described by Bonaparte in 1853 based on a specimen collected in the Andes of Bolivia. For long it was known only from this type specimen. It is generally a low-density species and the total population has been estimated at 10.000-20.000, with as few as 620 in the Chilean part of its range. Consequently, it is considered to be near threatened by BirdLife International and IUCN.

With a total length of 46-62 cm (18-24 in), it averages slightly smaller than the related Giant Coot, and their distributions overlap in parts of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

While most coots have a horny shield on the forehead, the Horned Coot has three wattles in both sexes. The central wattle is large and may possibly be erectile. The three wattles terminate in tufts of filoplumes. At the base of the beak and below the wattle is a fleshy caruncle which is whitish. The bill is olive yellow, brightening to dull orange towards the base. Unlike the Giant Coot, the legs of the Horned Coot are dull greenish.

rousettus, ferranjlloret, Dis. Ac., siggi, boreocypriensis, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello James
very beautiful capture of Horned Coot on nest. great composition and POV. nicely focused. it is similar to Fulica atra (Common Coot) here, except its horn.
thanks for sharing it with good informative notes.
best wishes

Hello James,
Great picture of this interesting especies, very ell done.
TFS. Regards. Ferran.

Hello James,

very nic image from this coot with good pov.
fine colours.
This one I never been seen before tfs.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-10-01 10:06]

Hello James.
This is a good post. I like this capture and composition. Details are good with good POV and DOF.Well done.Best regards Siggi

hello James

beautiful photo of the Horned Coot on his Nest,
with fine POV, fine focus excellent sharpness and details, TFS


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