Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra

Eurasian Coot

Fulica atra

Family: Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, Coot, 14 species in Australia).
Size: 32-39 cm
Distribution: Almost all of Australia except small areas in central and central-West Australia, and almost half of Southwest WA
Status: Locally Abundant to Common
Habitat: Swamps, reserviors, fresh or brackish open lakes, estuaries
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Eurasian Coot is a bit like a duck as it is usually seen on water (and basically always either on or near water). It has a white beak and forehead, and red eye, which distinguish it from the Dusky Moorhen (which is otherwise very similar when in the water, though it has green legs which you can see when it is walking on land). The Eurasian Coot has dark grey legs.

They have flaps of skin on their toes, but they are not fully webbed like a duck.

Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Photo: Wentworth Falls Lake, Blue Mountains NSW

Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Photo: Wentworth Falls Lake, Blue Mountains NSW

Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Photo: Wentworth Falls Lake, Blue Mountains NSW

Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources

Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton - Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra NEW: Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton.

Revised edition 3 July 2019. Paperback / softback, 176 pages. It has an orange cover. The original edition was 2005 and has a blue cover. Some of the book sellers listed here show the photo from the original/older blue cover edition, but the rest of the info (including the publication date and ISBN) are from the newer revised 2019 edition, so presumably that's the one you'll get.

This book has very high quality large photographs of the birds (as in actual photographs). Most of the photos take up a whole page for each bird photograph. "Know Your Birds" only has a selection of the most common birds, and not all the birds that are found in Australia. This makes it very good for beginners — since most of the field guides have all the birds — and it can be confusing looking at six almost identical species of birds, not knowing that five of them are rare and it's probably the common one that you're looking for. Which would be the only one listed in this book.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

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