Description of the American Coot

BREEDING MALE

 

american coot

 

 

 

Female

Same as male.

Seasonal change in appearance

Limited.

Juvenile

Juveniles are similar to adults, but are browner and have slightly darker bills.

Habitat

Marshes, ponds, lakes, and bays.

Diet

Plants, seeds, aquatic invertebrates, fish, and worms.

Behavior

Forages by dabbling (tipping body up and head down into the water and by diving.

Range

American Coots breed widely across North America, and winter somewhat farther south than the northern extent of their breeding range.

More information:

Bent Life History:

Visit the Bent Life History page for extensive additional information on the American Coot.

Fun Facts

Though it swims like a duck, the American Coot is actually related to rails.

Large flocks of coots may form during migration and winter.

Vocalizations

Calls include a variety of grunts and squawks.

Nesting

The nest is a floating platform of sedges, rushed, and cattails lined with finer materials.

Eggs:  
Number: 6-11.
Color: Buffy or gray with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:  
- Young hatch at about 21-25 days.   
- Young fledge (leave the nest) within hours, but associate with the adults for some time.

american coot nest