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Eurasian coot – Fulica atra

Eurasian coot – Fulica atra
is 32–42 cm (13–17 in) long and weighs 585–1,100 g (1.290–2.425 lb), and is largely black except for the white frontal shield (which gave rise to the phrase “as bald as a coot”, which the Oxford English Dictionary cites in use as early as 1430).[3] 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.

Coots are omnivorous, eating mainly plant material, but also small animals and eggs. They are aggressively territorial during the breeding season, but are otherwise often found in sizeable flocks on the shallow vegetated lakes they prefer.

At least some coots have difficulty feeding a large family of hatchlings on the tiny shrimp and insects that they collect. So after about three days they start attacking their own chicks when they beg for food. After a short while, these attacks concentrate on the weaker chicks, who eventually give up begging and die. The coot may eventually raise only two or three out of nine hatchlings. In this attacking behaviour, the parents are said to “tousle” their young. This can result in the death of the chick.

This is the sound
Recording by Erik Roels from Xeno-canto