American Coots – Big Foot Birds

Utah Bigfoot BirdUtah Bigfoot Bird – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 320, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Early in January I was able to photograph a few American Coots as they walked on ice at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management area and marveled again at how big their feet are.

American Coots are part of the rail family but instead of being secretive lurkers coots are found in the open swimming, chasing or fighting with each other. Here in Utah I often see them in the company of grebes and ducks in the marshy areas near the Great Salt Lake and at certain times of the year I see them in large numbers on the shoreline of the lake. They stay around until the water freezes over and then come back before the ice is completely gone.

Back to those big feet, American Coots use those feet to paddle in the water and when they fight they often use their feet to attack each other. It kind of makes me happy that the old coots I have in my life don’t fight that way even though that would be funny to see!

Life is good.



  1. Humming Bird Lover January 26, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Hi! Speaking of old cooties! I guess I fit! My younger sister and I have kick and fought for over74 years Ha ha Oh well I try to be nice???
    I love this picture and enjoyed the coots years ago! Have a good evening and a great day on Tuesday!

  2. Elephant's Child January 25, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    As a big footed coot myself I envy these their agility.
    Gorgeous image Mia. Thank you.

  3. Patty Chadwick January 25, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Coots look so small, compact and neat when they are swimming….then there are those BIG feet!!! If the old coots in your life ever start kick boxing, I hope your get some good pictures!!!

  4. Jolanta January 25, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Beautiful bird! Great photo. Love these feeds 🙂

  5. Liz Cormack January 25, 2015 at 5:52 am

    Thank you for this photo of a coot walking on ice. Gotta love their feet! I find them swimming with Canada geese a lot as if needing “big brother’s” protection. And the Canada geese do protect the little coots.

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