American coot (Fulica americana)

They are beefy birds that require a lot of effort to fly; they pedal through the water with their legs before rising. In the face of a threat, they take a low flight, giving the impression of walking on water. The way their heads wiggle when they walk or swim has earned them the nickname “Mud Hen”. However, although they appear to be weak aviators, they have considerable stamina, stability and endurance once in flight.



Lagoons, lakes, and marshes; in winter, also fields, parks ponds, and saltwater bays. During the breeding season, it needs shallow freshwater bodies with plenty of vegetation. At other times of the year, it can reside in almost any aquatic habitat, including lagoons or reservoirs, open fields near lakes, protected marshes, and coastal bays. Sometimes you see birds migrating across the sea at a distance from the coast.



Omnivorous. It feeds mainly on plant material, stems, leaves, and seeds of water spikes, reeds, herbs, and many others, as well as many algae. In addition, it eats insects, tadpoles, fish, worms, snails, crayfish, shrimp, and other birds’ eggs.


Migratory birds with a greater probability of sighting in winter and spring.



Freshwater reservoirs and lagoons near the estuary.