All-black and larger than its cousin, the moorhen, the coot has a distinctive white beak and 'shield' above the beak which earns it the title 'bald'. Its feet have distinctive lobed flaps of skin on the toes which act in the same way as webbed feet when swimming. It patters noisily over the water before taking off and can be very aggressive towards others.
What they eat:
Vegetation, seeds, snails and insect larvae.
- UK breeding:
- 31,000 pairs
- UK wintering:
- 190,000 birds
This bird species has different identifying features depending on sex/age/season.