Order: Gruiformes

Family:  Rallidae

Scientific name: Fulica atra, Linnaeus, 1758

IUCN Red list status- Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Eurasian Coot is also known as Common Coot


The Eurasian coot is 32–42 cm long and weighs 585–1,100 .It is largely black except for the white frontal shield They have partial webbing on its long strong toes. The juvenile is paler than the adult with whitish breast and no facial shield. Both Sexes looks similar.


The Common Coot is omnivorous, feeding primarily on vegetable matter such as shoots and seeds of aquatic and some terrestrial plants, algae, grasses and cereals. It also takes animal food such as worms, leeches, molluscs, shrimps, insects (adults and larvae) and spiders. It may also feed on fish and fish-eggs, small amphibians, birds and eggs, and small mammals. The feeding time is usually day. But sometime during moonlit night also they do foraging. Food hunting is done solitarily, in pairs or small to large groups.


The coot is usually found on lakes, ponds, pools, reservoirs, canals, rivers, creeks, open marshes. It prefers muddy bottom with fringed, emergent, submerged or floating vegetation. They avoid small pools and streams and may sometimes occur on fast rivers if there is suitable vegetation. In India they can be found throughout the union during winter season. At that time they are also seen in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Srilanka.

Reproductive Behaviour

The Common Coot is monogamous. The breeding season varies according to the range. They usually nests in emergent vegetation and in shallow water, and sometimes in open floating vegetation. They become very territorial and pugnacious during this period. The nest is bulky, made with dead and green stems, leaves and twigs, bark, roots, reeds etc placed on the bottom or in trampled base of plants. Both sexes take part in the construction of the nest. Female lays 6-10 eggs. Incubation by both parents lasts about 21-26 days. Both parents take care of the young ones.


This is a noisy bird with a wide repertoire of crackling, explosive, or trumpeting calls, often given at night.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • American Coot (Fulica americana)
  • Andean Coot (Fulica ardesiaca)
  • Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea)

Migratory Behaviour

Migratory, Uncommon Winter Visitor