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Doug J | all galleries >> Birds of Florida > American Coot
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American Coot
17-Feb-2017 Copyright Douglas Janson

American Coot

Sarasota, Florida

Scientific name: Fulica americana

The American coot, also known as a mud hen, is commonly mistaken to be ducks, American coots belong to a distinct order. Unlike the webbed feet of ducks, coots have broad, lobed scales on their lower legs and toes that fold back with each step in order to facilitate walking on dry land. They are close relatives of the moorhen. Coots live near water, typically inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies in North America.

The American coot is a migratory bird that occupies most of North America. It lives in the Pacific and southwestern United States and Mexico year-round and occupies more northeastern regions during the summer breeding season.] American coots eat primarily algae and other aquatic plants but also animals (both vertebrates and invertebrates) when available.

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