Fulica americanaAlso called a Mud-hen but… not a duck or a chicken- Member of rail family. No webbed feet! Instead, large lobed toes that assist bird to scramble across water with wings flapping TAKE OFF! Only black water bird with a dark-band on tip of white bill. Slate gray/black, GREEN legs and feet. RED eyes, RED patch between eyes, too. Look-alikes: male and female. Feeds on insects, aquatic plants. Coot pairs build floating mat of vegetation- raise one brood per year. Partial migrator, range: western coastal United States, Mexico, Central America. Excellent diver; head bobs when swimming. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/species/birds/rails_coots_cranes.asp Click on image below to read Legend of the American Coot:
Do coots have webbed feet? No- they have large lobed toes; and, so, coots are not ducks. The American Coot, smaller than most waterfowl, is the only black water bird with a white bill. Coots are excellent divers and bobs its head while swimming. It eats insects and aquatic plants. This bird is also known as a Mud-hen or Marsh- hen.
This bird is known by many collective nouns: “codgery”, “commotion”, “fleet”, “shoal”, or “swarm” of coots.