The temps are dropping here in the Salt Lake Valley, two days ago it was below freezing when we went out shooting. Winter brings challenges and birds we don’t see during the summer so I am excited about that.
The American Coots (Fulica americana) in Utah will be here until the water freezes solid, if there is any open water they hang around. So when there is ice on part of a pond it can be fun watching the coots slip-sliding around.
American Coots are common in North America and even though that is true I like to photograph them because they are a challenge to expose correctly because of their dark feathers and that ivory-white bill. Usually in winter I can get closer to them. They will walk on the ice to avoid a fight with another coot which is what the one above was doing when I took the image.
The coot above avoided a fight and was standing on ice that barely support its weight which is why there is a circle of icy water around its feet. Coots might not be very colorful or as powerful as a raptor but they are great fun to photograph. American Coots on thin ice provide great opportunities to photograph them slip sliding around and seeing unique behaviors.
I’m looking forward to winter and the great bird photography opportunities it will bring.