| Western Isles of Scotland
Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Coot
(Cooit, Snyth, Snysin)
Photograph © Debbie Bozkurt
Benbecula - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
18th February, 2007
- AKA: Eurasian Coot, Snysin, Bald Coot
- Fulica atra
- UK Resident Breeder/ Winter visitor
- UK 22,600- 28,000 pairs (summer), 180,000 (winter) RSPB
- Distribution: Europe, Asia, Australia. Resident in mild areas (inc UK)
- Breeds: Nest a pile of dead reeds at water's edge. Open water areas with nearby vegetation. Mostly freshwater lakes, marsh, slow rivers, gravel pits, reservoirs. Fiercely defends territory - charges intruders.
- Winters in similar areas. Often forms large flocks. Sometimes when freshwater frozen is seen in harbours or offshore
- Diet: Omnivorous: mostly plants, snails, insects, some eggs,
- Plump medium-sized waterfowl (rail family). Flat-backed. Mostly sooty-grey. Black head with white frontal plate & white bill. Short tail. Lobed toes (flaps of skin rather than webbed). Strong legs, fast runners! Runs splashing across water as part of take-off. Short, rounded wings (weak fliers. The migratory species do so at night). Prefers open water (other rails hide). Head nods when swimming.
- Max recorded age 20yr 7mth, typical lifespan 5yrs
- Listen to a coot (RSPB site)
- Similar birds: moorhen
Two or more coots are called a covert or cover of coot.
The white frontal plate above the bill is fleshy and has no feathers, and is where the phrase "bald as a coot" comes from.
Debbie's online photo album
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section
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