School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Bird Details

Duck Like Duck Like

American Coot

Fulica americana

American Coot
Length: 16 in. (39 cm)
Common in freshwater marshes, ponds, lakes and rivers, the American Coot feeds on aquatic vegetation, fish, aquatic invertebrates and occasionally eggs of other aquatic nesting bird species. Its floating nest is made of dead reeds and grass and is anchored in dense vegetation. Females will often lay their eggs in the nests of other female coots to be raised by the foster parents. During the winter, flocks of these birds regularly congregate on golf course ponds, fairways and tees where they walk around on their extra large feet and disrupt golfers.

Open water
Open water

Marsh / swamp
Marsh / swamp

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.