Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 78 - Eurasian Coot

The Eurasian Coot is a wide spread species;  it's so wide spread that its one of the few species I see in Australia that also occurs naturally in the UK.

With its black / grey plumage and white head shield it's hard to get this mixed up with many other birds.

Good old Fulica atra can often be seen storming about ponds small and large - if ever there was a means of measuring aggression per ounce, I'm sure this bird would win!  As a kid I can remember them running the length of long winter ponds to settle some obscure dispute with a member of its own species!  I think the red eye speaks of a fiery temper.

On sunday I found this rather more relaxed scene as a pair of coots fed their splendidly ugly chicks.  The term "bald as a coot" refers to the white head plate that the adults possess, but I was surprised to find that the chicks are bald as well.  This family seemed very at home in the border waters between the reeds and the open pond.

At some time in the future these Australian coots may become a separate species - not because of some rapid evolutionary change, but because taxonomists already suspect they not be the same species as is found else where - I'll have to wait for the studies to be done before I can get that tick!




Now it's your turn to join in with WBW.  Good number of bloggers had been linking at the end of last year -  but we can always find space for more!  So, invite away and don't forget to link back here!
Click the link and off you!

46 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

those chicks are the fugliest little guys! :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I love the chicks!!! I know your species is a different coot, but the American Coots have similar traits and near identical chicks!

EG CameraGirl said...

I never knew coots have a mean streak. I just know I rarely get close enough to get a good photo of them. ;)

Karen said...

The little chick is cute with the red face.

Irma said...

How beautiful to see the mother with her young coot.
The little ones are so cute.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

So ugly they're cute. Interesting personalities!

Andrea said...

They definately have a more severe look than our Coots. Same coloring but put together differently. Our Coots do fight among themselves when in large groups, but they are generally thought of as clowns more then aggressors. Of course this is the first I have ever heard of the Eurasian Coot and it had to be you that introduced them to me. First new lesson in 2014, so we are off and running again, Stewart. Thanks ...

Andrea @ From the Sol
P.S. I grew up on Mince Pie, but now everyone around here eats Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie. But, thanks to you, I now have a taste for Mince Pie and probably won't be able to get any until next November around Thanksgiving. I'll just think of it as not adding to my roundness. :)

Carletta said...

Stewart, these lovely captures look like paintings - beautiful shots of the chicks. I don't think they are ugly at all. :)

babsjeheron said...

Your photos bring new meaning to the expression "old coot," and I think your coots are spectacular!

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful shots, Stewart.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Awe Stewart, I think those little ones are darling ;) I had never learned how aggressive the adults could be with one another though. Beautiful, outstanding images!

R. Mac Wheeler said...

of all the coots I come across in Florida...I've never seen a baby.

HansHB said...

Awesome post. The little bird-kid is so cute!

cobie en bas van Es said...

heel mooi deze serie van de meerkoet en haar jongen ook mooi uitgelegd.

Chris Rohrer said...

I love the little babies:) They are common birds full of character:)

karen said...

Those chicks are so cute.

Gemma Wiseman said...

I didn't know the coots have a mean streak either. I have only seen them swimming quite peacefully with ducks and black swans and seeming to like their company. Enjoyed the humour in your commentary.

mick said...

Great photos - the colors and texture in the water are beautiful!

Findlay Wilde said...

I can't believe you get the same coots as us all those miles away. From Findlay

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful photos of the chicks! I can't quite decide if they're ugly or cute.

Judith Gray said...

Great images - while I see Coot's regularly at Cooby Dam in South-East Queensland, I have never seen their chicks! I think the chicks are rather cute. Wonderful photos and story.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Stewart Great shots of the chicks. I think they must take the prize of the funniest looking chicks that only a mother could love.

NatureFootstep said...

The Coot´s chicks are the ugliest but most charming chick on earth I think. :)

eileeninmd said...

The Coot chicks are adorable.. Stewart, great sighting and photos!
Thanks for hosting, have a happy week!

Minoru Saito said...

Hi! Nice captures. They are very cute. Thanks for sharing.

Carole M. said...

oh very special photo opportunity Stewart to find the chicks as well; lovely photos

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Lovely pictures.. Congrats..

Montanagirl said...

Those little chicks are so ugly, they're cute!!

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I like the second photo the best. They are looking at each other, just to be sure "you know I am here".

Brian King said...

Fantastic shots, Stewart! Love that piercing red eye! The chicks are cute!

Linda said...

Marvelous pictures! And who doesn't love baby birds? So sweet!

Small City Scenes said...

Well mean and/or ugly they seem to love B

Rebecca said...

What cute (not ugly at all) little chicks! - and a good mom too. :) Thanks for hosting!

Jo said...

OMW Those are stunning pictures of domestic bliss. I've never heard of aggro water birds (maybe I should get out more, LOL!) Interesting post and beautiful images as usual, Stewart. Greetings Jo

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Splendid images !

Vineeta Yashswi said...

This is different from Indian coot but beautiful pics... Chicks are too beautiful...

Red Nomad OZ said...

I've NEVER seen coot (cute??!!) chicks that young!! How cool are they?!?! Happy New Year - look forward to participating more in WBW this year!!

edenhills said...

Love the little ones! Great captures.

Gail Dixon said...

Love those red eyes on the coots. Looks like the American version is the same as this one. Nice shots of the mother with her sweet little chicks. Ugly but sweet! :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Such a relaxing and serene scene this must have been. You captured it wonderfully.

Kerri Farley said...

I think the babies are adorable!!!

Phil Slade said...

It certainly looks the same species as ours Stewart and if it is half as agressive as ours it will be a handful. hope you get a new tick from it.

Thanks for the hosting again.The list seems to grow each week.

thewovenspoke said...

Really nice photos I like finding water birds. those red eyes look wicked!

Arija said...

They are kinda cute none the less. Unfortunatelythey surely have a temper!

DeniseinVA said...

Wonderful pictures Stewart. I have just shared some pictures and linked up.

Phyllis Oller said...

They ARE so ugly that they are cute,thanks for hosting,this is a new bird for me,phyllis