Coot

 
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   Description
ADULT Has essentially all dark plumage, darkest on head and neck; note white on outer undertail coverts. Bill and frontal shield are mainly white, except for dark subterminal band on bill and red patch on forehead shield; note the beady red eye. Legs are greenish yellow. In flight, note white trailing edge to otherwise dark, rounded wings.
JUVENILE Has dark grayish brown upperparts and white on throat and front of neck. Bill is dull pink. Acquires adult-like plumage by first winter, but bill is pure white and red on forehead is absent.

Dimensions
Length: 15"

Voice
Utters a loud kwoot call.

Discussion
Dumpy waterbird with long, lobed toes that facilitate swimming. Feeds by upending or by making shallow dives, but also grazes waterside vegetation. In breeding season, constructs large mound nests of waterplants. Outside breeding season, often forms large flocks. When taking off from water, typically runs along surface, splashing its feet before finally getting airborne. Sexes are similar