Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saving The Coot

Coots are medium-sized, crane-like birds that are members of the Rallidae (rail) family. They constitute the genus Fulica. Coots have predominantly black plumage, and—unlike many rails—they are usually easy to see, often swimming in open water. They are close relatives of the moorhen.

Coots have prominent frontal shields or other decoration on the forehead, with red to dark red eyes and coloured bills. Many, but not all, have white on the under tail. The featherless shield gave rise to the expression "as bald as a coot," which the Oxford English Dictionary cites in use as early as 1430. Like other rails, they have long, lobed toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. Coots have strong legs and can walk and run vigorously. They tend to have short, rounded wings and are weak fliers, though northern species nevertheless can cover long distances.
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This helpless coot was attacked by a dog at Pellerina Park, it was under shock and was trying to get rid of the dog which was chasing after him. It tried to get into the fence to the lake through the hole, but obviously it was too fat to enter, as a result it was trapped with half of its body in and half out. We stopped the dog from getting near and I pull the coot out from the hole and place it back into the lake. It was finally free and happy again, but the dog was so pleased.....


Rob said...

A handsome bird. I am surprised you were able to handle it. He must have been quite worn down. Good save!

wilf said...

Yes Rob, it is a surprisingly tame bird....:)