Aust birds    Bird names   News   Fam group 1-26    Habitats    Key plants    Glossary    Plumage    Tips    Thumbnails    Gen. info    Credits    Photos for sale   
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     PASSERINES
Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site? If interested, please CLICK HERE.

7

Eurasian Coot

(Fulica atra)
Alternative name: "Toorie"
Aboriginal name: "kirli"

Size: 35-38 cm
Weight: 585-1100 g

Similar species

SUBSECTIONS:     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Taxonomy, classification

See Eurasian Coot at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

(for details refer to a field guide)

Click here to display information on habitat, range and finding this species

Sightings

In the region of Narrabri, NSW, Eurasian Coots can be found regularly around Narrabri Lake.

Click here to display more sighting information

Photos

Race "australis"

Frontal view of an Eurasian Coot
[Old Quipolly Dam, Quirindi, NSW, May 2013]

Frontal view of an Eurasian Coot, with in the background a Dusky Moorhen on parts of underwater plants (photo courtesy of J. Ross-Taylor)
[Gold Coast, QLD, June 2014]

Lateral view of an Eurasian Coot on a lake
[Old Quipolly Dam, Quirindi, NSW, May 2013]

Eurasian Coot seen when just finished preening
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

Dorsal view of an Eurasian Coot, screaming an alarm
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2010]

This Eurasian Coot is puffing up its wings and plumage to impress the competition by making itself appear to be bigger
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

Flock of Eurasian coots in shallow water
[Wetlands of Capricorn Resort, Yeppoon, July 2009; see credits page for details]

Eurasian Coots making a splash
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, January 2009]

Eurasian Coots caught in the act...
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

Direct size comparison between a Dusky Moorhen, left, and an Eurasian Coot, right (photo courtesy of J. Ross-Taylor)
[Gold Coast, QLD, June 2014]

Juvenile Eurasian Coot; note the greyish throat, by which the bird can be identified
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

In Narrabri by about November the Eurasian Coot chicks start moving around without adult supervision; here one close to an Australasian Grebe
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]

Three Eurasian Coot chicks preening
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]

Eurasian Coot with chicks out on the water; two are being fed
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Mar Eggs: 5 - 7 Incubation period: 22 - 26 days Fledging age: 28 - 42 days

Given the right conditions (and depending on geographical latitude), Eurasian Coots can breed any time of the year.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = Nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Reeds Height above ground: N/A

The nest can be floating on water, affixed to a plant, or sit on top of a low, flat object, such as e.g. an old reed stump.

Eurasian Coot nest with four chicks

Here two youngsters that have probably temporarily returned to their nest
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2010]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 52 x 35 mm Colour: Light-brown, with sparse mid-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

As opposed to most Moorhens or Swamphens, which are primarily waders, the Eurasian Coot will also dive for food in shallow water.

Eurasian Coot going for a dive
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2010]

It never fails to amaze us to realize that even aquatic birds that spend most of their lives on water need to bathe...

Eurasian Coot going for a dive
[Warialda, NSW, April 2014]

Food, Diet

To the best of our knowledge Eurasian Coots feed on aquatic plants, but also on small animals.

Eurasian Coot feeding on algae
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

Eurasian Coot with a piece of aquatic plant it has just brought up from under the water surface
[Old Quipolly Dam, Quirindi, NSW, May 2013]

Call/s

For this species we have recorded the following call/s. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

eurcoot_20140716_2.mp3 ? M. Dahlem
eurcoot_20140716_3.mp3 ? M. Dahlem
eurcoot_20140716.mp3 Immature M. Dahlem

These pages are largely based on our own observations. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.