Eight American Coots (adults and juveniles) showed up on Lake Jonda today and mixed in with the usual Mallards, Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls. They will be heading south of the Great Lakes soon to spend the winter on open water, in places like Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Tennessee and right on down to northern Florida. But with global warming, it's seems that American Coots are not going as far south as they once did and we will probably see them as year-around residents in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie environs, in a few years. I couldn't get close enough to the coots today to photograph them, so have included a photo of a watercolour sketch I painted almost 20 years ago of an American Coot in a notebook from a canoe trip I made on the Current River in Missouri. If you are not familiar with this bird, it is duck-like, about 13-16" long and its big feet are lobed - not webbed. Oh, and they are omnivorous and will eat just about anything on land or in the water. Alas, coots themselves sometimes show up in Cajun cuisine.
Sketch by BarrytheBirder
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