Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Coot, any bird of the aquatic genus Fulica of the Rail family. There are ten species, world-wide in distribution, and distinguished by a lobed membrane on the toes, and a large frontal shield. The common coot (F. atra) is a native of England, frequenting marshes, lakes, and gulfs, but visits Scotland only in the summer. It is also common over the European continent. The length is about 16 inches, general plumage slaty-black, bill, frontal shield, and narrow band on the wings white. The flesh is little esteemed for the table. Coots make a large nest of water-plants, and lay from seven to ten eggs, which are brownish-white with dark brown spots.