Sunday, October 11, 2009

American Coot

American coots are rather strange looking with their red eyes and bumpy heads.

You can find them in lakes and ponds all around San Francisco.

Have you ever seen a baby coot? They are hideously cute. Below is a much older juvenile.

Coots are pretty small at 13-16 inches. Below is a size comparison of a coot with a gull. Also, I like how the red leaf behind the gull makes it look like he has a fiery red tongue.

Yesterday, I visited Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. They had quite a variety of birds in the water. Here you can see the coot next to some mallard ducks and another bird that I have yet to identify.

Several people were feeding the birds. Coots may be small, but they're very fast. They competed with the much larger geese for bread.

There were several scuffles. Don't mess with this mallard!

The other birds would move fast if they were within a foot of the bread. The coots, on the other hand, would go for any bread that they coot see.

You can do it!

They're very vocal birds too. I could almost hear them say, "I'm huuungry!"


  1. Very funny! Looks like you were having fun! I was so amazed the first time I ever saw a coot! Now I see them all the time!

  2. Thanks Kathie! I really like their noises.

  3. Hi Elizabeth -- I'm slowly recovering. I miss her horribly but more and more of my thoughts are of the funny things she did, so that helps a lot.

    Thanks for thinking of us. ;-)

  4. Great photos. Keep having fun and shooting good pictures. I love the coots, especially when they have their young with them. They are interesting birds.

  5. Coots are so much fun to watch! I love their beady little red eyes and white bills! I really like your first photo. I believe your mystery red-faced duck is a Muscovy Duck--I remember the first time I ever saw one of those! They are cool looking.

  6. Thanks Bill!

    Kelly, I am so in love with the Coots. They make the best noises too. Thanks for the ID!


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