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UK Nature  > Birds  > Fulica atra

Scientific Name:   Fulica atra
Common Name:   Coot

Fulica atra, more commonly known as the Coot, is approximately 38cm in length. The adult bird is easily recognised by sooty-black plumage with white bill and frontal shield and greenish-yellow legs and grey feet. In winter they are gregarious, and can be found in large flocks on lakes, reservoirs and sheltered estuaries and bays.

Dives frequently. Swims with nodding head movements and runs a long way across water surface to take off. Many calls; typical ones include a loud, broken 'kowk, kowk' and an explosive 'pitts'. Diet consists of small aquatic animals, insect larvae and pondweed. Coots may also graze on waterside grass.

Nest is a mound of waterside vegetation, reeds, sticks etc, collected from the vicinity and usually contsructed in the middle of waterside reeds etc. Common throughout most of the UK on well-vegetated lowland lakes and ponds. Rarely found in northern Scotland or on hilly high ground.
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