Birds have also recently transported themselves to New Zealand, and the species is quickly becoming established. Parents may selectively starve some of their young, and sometimes even kill them outright, when there is a lack of food. Coot species that migrate do so at night. The Eurasian Coot is recognised by its snowy white bill and forehead shield. We use ‘bird-brained’ as an insult – Maybe we’ve got that wrong? Its feet have distinctive lobed flaps of skin on the toes which act in the same way as webbed feet when swimming. It is not a shy bird, and is often seen near or in ponds within parks and urban areas. Eggs often get preyed on by other species, such as gulls and herons, but most chicks die because of starvation. The remainder of the bird is dark sooty grey, except for its bright red eye. Nestlings are downy, black with fine yellow tips. Bird brains are sophisticated high speed processors. Food is mainly obtained during underwater dives, lasting up to 15 seconds and ranging down to 7 m in depth. The Eurasian Coot is able to compress its feathers and squeeze out all of the air, which allows it to dive deeply and for longer periods. … The only bird with which the Eurasian Coot can be confused is the similarly sized, dark grey Dusky Moorhen. Juveniles are paler, have a white breast and throat, and no frontal shield. The European populations is therefore listed as near threatened. It is not a shy bird, and is often seen near or in ponds within parks and urban areas. Immature has duller bill, like adult by midwinter. It can also eat vegetation by grazing on land. It is not globally threatened and is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List. The remainder of the bird is dark sooty grey, except for its bright red eye. If food becomes scarce, the young birds may be killed by the parents. In Australia the Eurasian Coot is common in suitably vegetated lagoons and swamps. It grows to lengths of 32-42 cm (13-17 in). It is often seen running across the water’s surface or swimming in huge flocks on large wetlands, but they equally often occur on small ponds. It is found from Europe, across Asia and parts of Africa, all the way to Australia and New Zealand. Their white “frontal shield” usually has a reddish brown spot near the top, just between their eyes. At this time, … The range of this bird species is about 10 million square kilometers. These species are often found together, but the Dusky Moorhen has a reddish-orange head shield and bill, with a yellow tip. All-black and larger than its cousin, the moorhen, the Eurasian coot has a distinctive white beak and 'shield' above the beak which earns it the title 'bald'. Birds are less common in the north and in the drier regions. Let’s reconsider birds’ brains…. They are often placed near the water’s edge. Birds fly. The Eurasian coot is always found close to freshwater, and prefers habitats such as wetlands, lakes and ponds. Their aggression is also extended towards other species. Some coots may even lay there eggs in the nests of other coots, a behavior called brood-parasitism. In areas where freshwater freezes, it migrates to warmer climates during winter. The Eurasian Coot, also known as the Common Coot, has a current evaluation of Least Concern. This bird species is native to countries throughout Europe and Asia. It is an omnivorous bird and feeds both on vegetation and small animal prey. Young ducks and grebes are sometimes killed. They have to be. Up to 10 eggs are laid, but only a few normally survive. It can dive and find food underwater, where it can dive to depths of 7 meters and stay underwater for 15 seconds. Eurasian Coots may breed at any time that conditions are favourable, and may produce successive broods. Nestlings are downy, black with fine yellow tips. The Eurasian Coot, with its sooty-black plumage and gleaming white bill and frontal shield covering its forehead, is a familiar bird across Europe and Asia as well as Australia. The American coot has been observed rarely in … Birds also graze on the land and on the surface of the water. Both sexes share incubation and care of the young. But starlings do it with millions of other birds. It has also been seen in other areas as well, including the United States, Canada and Guam. Breeding season for Eurasian coot varies with location, and can span from February to September. Immature birds are generally paler than adults with a white wash on the throat. The American coot is a medium sized bird, sometimes referred to as a “mud hen”. Some coots also put just some of their eggs in another nest, while keeping the rest for themselves. The head is orange-red and the bill is red with a cream-white tip. Both parents take part in incubation and the raising of young. The Eurasian coot is very widespread with an extensive distribution. It might also eat eggs of other birds. The population of the Eurasian Coot is nearly 9 million individual birds. This can happen when conditions to raise their own young are unfavorable, if their own nest gets destroyed, or if they want to extend their reproduction life by not having the strains of parenthood shortening it. The Eurasian Coot ranges from Eurasia to Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia. Adult coots are a dark gray in color with short white bills that have a dark band at the tip. The Australian subspecies is known as the Australian Coot. Their legs are a greenish-gray in color with large lobed toes. They are 13 to 17 inches in length and 23 to 28 inches across the wings. Birds of the northern hemisphere tend to take much more animal prey. In areas where freshwater freezes, it migrates to warmer climates during winter. : Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds, Your Garden: How to make it a safe haven for birds, Other Areas Nearby: improving the landscape for birds. Immature birds are generally paler than adults with a white wash on the throat. It patters noisily over the water before taking off and can be very aggressive towards others. The Eurasian coot is always found close to freshwater, and prefers habitats such as wetlands, lakes and ponds. The nest is often a floating raft of vegetation or is built on logs or tree stumps that are surrounded by water. The Eurasian Coot is recognised by its snowy white bill and forehead shield. The head is orange-red and the bill is red with a cream-white tip. Nests of ducks are often seized and used as roosting sites, the unfortunate owner's eggs being pushed off into the water. In Australia, Eurasian Coots feed almost entirely on vegetable matter, supplemented with only a few insects, worms and fish. It is more threatened in Europe, where suitable habitats have been disappearing. Are there any distinctive features about the bird? Adult distinctive: slaty black overall with white bill and forehead shield. Formation flying is hard enough with nine jet aircraft. They require submerged aquatic vegetation or mats of floating waterweed, among which they … In areas with longer winters, a breeding season of April to July is common. Often out on open water and dives readily; also feeds by upending or grazing on grassy shore. The Eurasian coot (Fulica atra), also known as common coot, is a rail-like waterbird with en extensive Old World distribution. It is an easily distinguishable bird, with a sooty black plumage, large yellowish-green legs, red eyes and a conspicuous white beak and frontal shield.