Bird of the week – Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

The Eurasian Coot is a water bird. It is usually seen swimming in the middle of freshwater ponds and swamps. Its call is a loud “kowk”.

What the Eurasian Coot looks like

The Eurasian Coot is 32-39 cm in length. It is grey-black all over. It has a white beak with a white frontal shield, red eyes and grey legs and feet.

Where the Eurasian Coot lives

The Eurasian Coot lives all over Australia, except for the driest parts. It also lives in Eurasia, Indonesia, New Guinea and New Zealand. It is found in lagoons and swamps.

What the Eurasian Coot eats

The Eurasian Coot mostly eats water plants. It also eats some insects, worms and fishes. It dives underwater for food.

How the Eurasian Coot breeds

Eurasian Coots breed in pairs and defend their territories.

The adults mostly breed from late winter to summer. A male calls and strikes the water with his wings to attract a female. The adults mate.

The female lays four to fifteen eggs in a nest of sticks and water plants in a swamp. The parents take turns to sit on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after three to three and a half weeks.

The chicks are partly fed by their parents for about seven weeks. They grow into breeding adults.

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