You are probably well-aware that many countries have an official national bird. For example, the national bird of the United States is the Bald Eagle, and the national bird of Bolivia is the Andean Condor. Several U.S. states also have official birds. But did you know... Read more »
The Eurasian Coot, or simply Coot, is a species of rail that lives on freshwater lakes and ponds in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. They are mostly black with a white facial shield.
Unlike other birds in the rail family, Coots are commonly seen, swimming on open water or walking across grass fields. They are highly territorial during breeding season and will agressively defend their territory and nestlings. Outside of breeding season they form large flocks; it is not unusual to find huge rafts of the birds in the fall and winter.
Coots are omnivorous, and feed by grazing on land or water, or diving in the water.
Details & Statistics
The Eurasian Coot is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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When we lived in Leiden, there were Eurasian Coots, also called Common Coots, living all over the Singel (the canal or moat surrounding the city). This was one species of bird... Read more »