The American Coot

The American coot at Carmel River Lagoon.
The coot dives underwater for food.

Until this week I knew nothing about the American coot which is more properly a water bird than a duck, although on water it certainly looks like a duck. But it doesn’t have webbed feet–they are lobed like an egret’s–and it walks on land like a chicken. I took a photo of this coot at the Carmel River Lagoon, figuring it was some kind of loon. My bird app said otherwise.

I watched it dive underwater for 20 to 30 seconds at a time. It would rest for five seconds or so between dives.

Once again, I am amazed by how little I know about the wildlife that lives around me.

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