Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

An Eurasian Coot on the Sava River

An Eurasian Coot on the Sava River

After the mallard and sea gulls, this is one of the most common birds on the Sava River. Many people mistake it for a duck, but it is a member of the rail and crake family of birds, Rallidae. These birds are most often associated with freshwater wetlands.

Coots are found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. They have adapted well to humans as I see them in many parks and cities. They are omnivores and often dive for insect larvae and algae. The distinguishing characteristic is the bright, white face shield extending back from the bill.

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