It Was An American Coot On Lake Estes In Colorado

My Dad is a really great birder. He knows his birds, what they look like and their calls. Being 91 years old now, his eyesight is failing but he still knows his birds.

I was describing to him on the phone ( he lives in CT) a duck on Lake Estes that I thought was  a black duck. He said, “No, I think it sounds more like a Coot.” So…I went home and got my birdbook out and yes, it was an American Coot. What I learned was very interesting. It has the bill of a chicken, the feet of a grebe and the body of a duck. When they swim, the coot’s head rocks back and forth in synchrony with their swimming speed.

The coots love to squabble with each other, often seen running across the surface of the water charging at its rivals. What an interesting bird.

Thanks, Dad. I sure wish I knew as much about birds as you do!

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