Adult:- White beak and facial shield. Plumage entirely black. A feature is its rich red eyes.
Juvenile - Whitish on face and breast.
Adult voice - loud sudden “kowk!; various sharp metallic tones. Juveniles have feeble but far carrying whistles.
Has short strong legs, walks and runs vigorously. In flight the broad wing shows a pale trailing edge. The coot is heavy and clumsy in flight lacking manoeuvrability. It dives from the surface and swims with nodding head movements.