American Coot

This is a bird of larger areas of open water. It is seen on lakes, large rivers, and flooded swamps: winter flocks sometimes settle on sheltered salt water areas such as estuaries. Coots feed on buds, leaves, and stems of water plants, as well as on seeds, insects, and other small creatures.They feed by foraging on the ground at the waterside or by diving in open water, taking waterweed from the bottom. They cannot take off easily and need to run along the surface to get airborne. Breeding pairs defend territories aggressively, both birds fighting intruders

• NEST A bulky cup nest made of dead leaves and stems, placed among vegetation in or beside the water, or on low or submerged branches.

• DISTRIBUTION Breeds in North and Central America, in the Caribbean region, and in the Andes of Colombia. North American populations winter as far south as Colombia.

uniform, dark gray

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