2 months ago
My idea of this Mission 💯 is to identify and understand behavior of 100 species of birds found in India.
52: Eurasian coot
SN: Fulica atra
The Eurasian coot also known as the common coot is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae. It is found in Europe, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa.
It is 32–42 cm long and weighs 585–1,100g and is largely black except for the white frontal shield (which gave rise to the phrase "as bald as a coot"). As a swimming species, the coot has partial webbing on its long strong toes.
The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult black plumage develops when about 3–4 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old. This is a noisy bird with a wide repertoire of crackling, explosive, or trumpeting calls, often given at night.
It is reluctant to fly and when taking off runs across the water surface with much splashing. It does the same, but without actually flying, when travelling a short distance at speed in territorial disputes. As with many rails, its weak flight does not inspire confidence, but on migration, usually at night, it can cover surprisingly large distances. It bobs its head as it swims, and makes short dives from a little jump.
The coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds, as well as algae, vegetation, seeds and fruit.
This species builds a nest of dead reeds or grasses, but also pieces of paper or plastic near the water's edge or on underwater obstacles protruding from the water, laying up to 10 eggs, sometimes 2 or 3 times per season. Usually only a few young survive.
#planetuntamed at Kaikondrahalli Lake, Bangalore