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American Coot

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  • Corvus brachyrhynchos
  • Corvids, Shrikes & Friends
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About the American Coot

Also known as: Mudhen, Alae Keokeo, Marsh Hen, Mud Hen

The American Coot is a species of rail that lives in wetlands and open water across the United States as well as parts of Canada and central America. They have dark grey bodies with a white facial shield, which has a reddish central spot. They feed by foraging or diving in the water, or foraging on land.

Coot feet are not webbed; instead the toes are lobed which aids in swimming.

Coots are highly territorial during mating and breeding season and also highly aggressive in defending both territory and their young.

American Coots scoot or run across the water or ground before taking flight, which requires a lot of effort. Once airborne, however, they are strong fliers with impressive stamina.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 14 April 2010
Scientific Name Fulica americana
  • Gruiformes
  • Rallidae
  • Fulica
  • F. americana
Birdorable Family Rails, Cranes & Friends
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
16 to 16 inches
22 to 23 ounces
Range North America Central America Caribbean South America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • 美洲骨顶 (Chinese)
  • Lyska Americká (Czech)
  • Andesblishøne (Danish)
  • Amerikaanse Meerkoet (Dutch)
  • Amerikannokikana (Finnish)
  • Foulque d'Amérique (French)
  • Indianerbläßhuhn (German)
  • Folaga Americana (Italian)
  • ハワイオオバン (Hawaiooban) (Japanese)
  • Amerikasothøne (Norwegian)
  • Lyska Amerykanska (Polish)
  • Американская лысуха (Russian)
  • Focha Cenicienta (Spanish)
  • Amerikansk Sothöna (Swedish)

Related articles

Baby Birdorable: American Coot

Baby Birdorable: American Coot

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the American Coot. Now, I have to ... more