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

Tasco Essentials 10x50 Binoculars - Eurasian Coot - Fulica atraTasco Essentials 10x50 Binoculars

I have the 8x40 of this series, which I bought because I saw them on special, and they had a much clearer image than the cheap no-name brand binoculars I had before. I would have got 10x50 instead if they had been on special also. These are great basic binoculars which can be used for birdwatching, stargazing, etc.

The first number (like 8 or 10) refers to the magnification, so bigger numbers mean you can see closer up, but the image will shake around more. The second number (like 40 or 50) is the diameter of the large lenses in millimetres. Bigger numbers mean more light gets in, so the image is clearer and better, at the expense of being larger and heavier to carry around.

With binoculars, once you get above the really cheap models (like $30-50), the image quality is pretty good. You can pay a lot more, like a few hundred dollars, or $1000 or $2000 even — but most of what you get isn't so much raw image quality but other features like durability, being waterproof, better lens coatings, image stabilisation, etc. Cheaper binoculars are more delicate and if not treated gently the two sides can go out of alignment with each other.

The product information says, "Tasco has been America's popular choice in sports optics for over 50 years. For half a century we've made it our mission to design and manufacture quality optics at prices that will fit any family's budget. Tasco products are packed with the latest features, built to exacting quality control standards, and designed to deliver a lifetime of satisfaction — so you can choose Tasco with confidence. With a great selection to choose from, you're sure to find just the right sports optics product for everyone in your family."

Purchase from Australia (Tentworld)

Purchase from Australia (BCF)

Browse different models of binoculars at [Tentworld] [Wild Earth] [BCF] [Kathmandu] [DWI] [Kogan] [Amazon USA]

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Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra

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