American Coot running across the water
I know some people will walk or drive right past American Coots and will ignore them but I am one of the bird photographers that does not like to pass up common birds, even birds as common as coots. American Coots have interesting behaviors that I like to try to capture, for instance the way they run across the surface of the water during territorial chases. I see more of the territorial behavior during the nesting season and during the winter when the ice forms and the amount of open water decreases forcing the coots to gather in smaller areas.
American Coot at the end of its wing flapping session
I also enjoy photographing American Coots because they test my skills as a photographer due to the high contrasts of their very dark plumage and their bright white bills and red eyes. Trying not to over or under expose coots is a challenge.
Coot standing on ice
Another reason I like American Coots are their huge greenish feet. Imagine if we had to walk on feet as large as theirs? I have small feet, barely a women’s size six, but if I had feet as large as a coot’s it might be like walking around the entire day on three sets of forward facing skis on each foot. They can handle it, I can’t.
I love coots.
Life is good.