Bird of the month – November 2022 – The Coot

Have you seen the bird of the month?

For November it is the: Coot (Fulica atra)

Adult Coot
Adult Coot

Where can I find them?

They are less common in the reserve than the Moorhen. They can be found down at the Lake

About the species

The Coot is black with a distinctive white beak and “shield” above the beak. It is larger than a Moorhen.

They can be very aggressive towards other birds and can be seen “pattering” over the water before taking off.

They spend more time in the water than its relative the Moorhen. The obtain their food by diving to catch small invertebrates and then normally bring their catch to the surface before eating it. This can lead to squabbles with other birds over food.

The average life span of a Coot is around five years.

The species is on the UK green list, meaning its population is currently stable.

What do they sound like?

A sharp metallic click of a sound sometimes repeated.

Where do they nest and what is the nest made from?

Nests are built by the male and female and constructed of reeds, leaves, roots and twigs. The nest is normally built-in water from the ground upwards, but in the nature reserve they are known to also use the floating platforms.

Coots Nest
Coots Nest

Coots breed in spring, laying between six and nine eggs.

The chicks are black with orange fluff around the face and body. They will normally stay with the adult birds before becoming independent after two months.

Coots & Young
Coots & Young

If you manage to photograph a Wren, within the reserve, why not share it on our Facebook page?