Monday, July 29, 2013

American Coots in Saskatchewan Sloughs

Bright orange baby coot, in not-camo...   © SB
The first time I saw a very young American Coot swimming in a slough, I was astonished by its colour.

The bright yellow, orange and red feathers, beak and skin of this water bird are exactly the opposite of camouflage...

And I wondered: Does its discreet black and white parent need these vibrant colours to find it?

Even at a slightly older age, these young birds look bizarrely speckled and tufted.

(The tufts are perhaps because its feathers are ever-so-slightly matted by the algae and other stuff typically found in slough water...)

The adults, in contrast, are sedately attired... although their behaviour is somewhat less that sedate. (Hence the term, silly old coot.)

Beautiful birds, all the same.

Adult and young American Coot  © SB
Grumpy-looking baby Coot  © SB
Slightly older, still young, Coot. © SB
Is this adult American Coot (could it be?) smiling at me? © SB

What are these birds? American Coots — Foulque d'Amérique — adult and young.
Location: Various sloughs and wetlands in Saskatchewan, Canada
Photo date:  Summer 2012 and 2013.


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