Coot family

Baby coots are just so cute. This family was feeding on the lake in the evening sun at Stover Country Park, Devon.

According to the Wildlife Trusts, the saying ‘bald as a Coot’ refers to the white patch, or frontal shield, just above the bird’s bill, rather than its lack of feathers.

Coot feet

The ubiquitous coot is one of the commonest birds in UK, Europe and US, so often does not receive a second glance. But have you ever looked at its feet?

coot feet martin mere
Coot feet, Martin Mere, Lancashire

The feet are quite remarkable, not webbed like those of ducks, but sectioned and well suited to walking on soft, uneven surfaces, such as water weeds and mud. Do take a look next time you see a coot out of the water.

Coots are of the family of rails, which includes the similar moorhen.