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


Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe NEW: Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe. Based on the above larger book. It's a while since I've seen this one. The publisher's commentary says that "This slimline, compact edition contains the same information on mainland and Tasmanian birds as his best-selling handbook, the Field Guide to Australian Birds. Features include plastic jacket, QuickFind system of colour tags and Quick Index ensure durability and ease of use in the field."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler.This is known to birdwatchers as "Simpson and Day". I like the pictures in this one the best out of all the major field guides. The information is still very highly regarded compared to most of the other guides. Many serious birdwatchers think "Pizzey and Knight" (listed here) is the best though. I bought this one since I liked the pictures so much I figured (correctly) that I would spend more time looking through it. I feel that I made the right choice since I love the pictures in this one so much. I have the 6th edition, the current one is the updated version of the 8th edition, which has a different colour cover to the original 8th edition with a black cover. I'm not sure why they haven't called this the 9th edition.

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Dymocks)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. updated version from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. original version from Amazon

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Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra

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