Coots, Coots and More Coots

/, Birds, Salt Lake County, Utah/Coots, Coots and More Coots

Two American Coots involved in a chaseTwo American Coots involved in a chase – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The last birds I photographed in 2017 were American Coots and some of the first birds I took photos of in 2018 were also coots. I was excited to go out to photograph birds yesterday morning but the radar/satellite indicated clouds so I opted to not go out photographing in the morning.

Instead I made my yearly trek to Best Buy to purchase a new external portable hard drive for 2018. I don’t store the photos I take on the internal drive of my computer, I store them on the small portable hard drives by the year and back them up to a larger external drive.

Anyway, it was after 10 am when I went out the door to go to get the hard drive and the first bird I saw and heard for 2018 was a Black-billed Magpie. I’m happy it was a corvid, they fascinate me.

An aggressive American Coot in a chaseAn aggressive American Coot in a chase – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I could have gone photographing in the morning, the clouds the radar/satellite showed over the Salt Lake Valley weren’t as bad as indicated and they cleared up rather quickly, in fact it turned out to be a beautiful morning. I went to the local pond later in the afternoon to take photos of the birds there and the busiest birds plus the most cantankerous birds were American Coots. The coots squabbled, they stalked each other, they chased and they fought. Coots can be entertaining.

American Coot chasing another coot out of its territoryAmerican Coot chasing another coot out of its territory – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I guess I could wish that the first bird I photographed in 2018 was a glorious Bald Eagle, a stooping Peregrine Falcon, a flock of Tundra Swans flying overhead or a Great Horned Owl with prey but in all honesty I love coots just as much as I do those birds.

In my mind a bird is a bird is a bird.

Life is good.



  1. medfair January 5, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    How easily we disregard the commonplace just because it is almost always there. Indeed, familiarity breeds contempt. I post from time to time pics of the commonest birds – sparrows, crows, pigeons. Just to show how much we miss beauty that is not rare, but readily available. All these outpourings just to say that I like your coots, especially the second pic where it seems to be stepping out of the water

  2. Patty January 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Life is good indeed! I would so love to see Tundra Swans!!

  3. Michael Pope January 2, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Happy New Year I feel I know you already and you are the one reliable bright spot in my day . I love birds too and you are just great ! Please look after yourself and live forever . From the far away Philippines I wish you the best. Michael Pope

  4. Elephants Child January 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Love the coots.
    And corvids. Such intelligent, family minded birds.

  5. Marty K January 2, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I agree with Liz. Coots are so much fun to watch and a fantastic start to the year!

  6. Laura Culley January 2, 2018 at 9:21 am

    I used to see coots every day when I lived in Dallas, but I haven’t seen them here…yet.
    I’m envious that you have magpies and I don’t! Harrumph! Corvids, the whole darn family, fascinate me, too. I just LOVE ’em! For a while, a murder of three crows were trying to harass Jack (male HAHA) to the point that they followed us home from the field and watched as I brought Jack into the house. They seem to have lost their curiosity about him now, but for about a week, they were VERY interested in him. They’re so darn smart!

  7. Liz Cormack January 2, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I love Coots. What a great way to start off the new year.

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