Coot at Strumpshaw Fen by David Savory 1/5
Adult coot feeding chick by Kevin Woolner 2/5
A pair of coots by David Davis 3/5
Coot at Ranworth by Paul Taylor 4/5
Coot with chick by Elizabeth Dack 5/5

Coot Fulica atra

The coot is a year round resident in Norfolk. Looking very similar to a moorhen but it is in fact larger. It also has a white beak and facial shield, as opposed to the moorhen’s red beak with yellow tip and red facial shield. The coot's plumage is also entirely black.

Conservation status

The coot is on the “Green” list (least critical group). It is protected under the Wildlife and Country Act 1981.

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Did you know? “Bald as a Coot” - the word actually comes from an ancient English word, balled, which dates from about 1430, and means white rather than featherless or even hairless. Indeed the old East Anglian name for the bird is “Baldie Coot”.

The coot breeds in spring, nesting in reeds and other dense aquatic vegetation. It will lay 6 - 9 eggs. The chicks are mainly black with orange fluff around the face and body. The chicks will be independent of their parents within 2 months. The coot is aggressively territorial during the breeding season. Otherwise it can usually be seen in sizeable flocks.

Its feet have partial webbing on its toes to aid it when swimming.

It is omnivorous eating invertebrates, seeds berries, shoots, roots, small fish and eggs.

A group of coots is known as a “Covert” or “Cover”.
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