Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

                                               Adult Eurasian Coot (subspecies F. a. atra) on the nest at Brent Reservoir, London

OTHER NAMES: Common Coot, Coot, Black Coot
Featured Subspecies - Fulica atra atra
Weight: 600-1100g
Length: 34-42cm
Wingspan: 70-80cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

One of the UK's most common waterbirds and the heaviest of it's rails, coots can be found on most decently sized bodies of water. On larger lakes particularly, hundreds of them can congregate on the water at a time at the right time of year. From a bird-watching perspective this is not a species that requires too much work to photograph - a lot of parks will have close views of them, particularly if you are feeding ducks.  It is also probably one of the easiest species to view on the nest in country.

Related Species: 
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Fulica
Subspecies: F. a. atra, F. a. lugubris, F. a. novaegeinea, F. a. australis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common Breeding Species (31,000 pairs) and common Winter Migrant (approx. 190,000 birds) of lakes and rivers.
 - Birds seen commonly at many river and wetland locations including Rutland WaterRainham MarshesRegent's ParkPitsford ReservoirDitchford Gravel Pits and Eyebrook Reservoir, particularly in Winter, where large flocks may gather on open water..
SPAIN - Locally common resident.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: Fairly numerous at El Rocio where flocks may also contain the rarer Red-Knobbed Coot.   
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Several seen at Laguna Navaseca    

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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