There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

American Coot

Fulica americana
Water bird
Black body and head
White stripe on undertail
Thick white bill with dark band at tip
Red eyes
Yellow legs
Large feet with lobed toes

Listen to its call.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck. That's how the saying goes, right? Well, it certainly isn't true in this case. Despite the fact that it was swimming with the ducks at Rithet's Bog, this bird is actually a member of the rail family. I'm pretty sure if I'd seen its large, un-webbed feet, I would have figured it out it on my own. 

Learn more about the American Coot.

1 comment:

  1. I live in Wyoming and was on my back porch in the middle of the night and one of these birds flew over my head and smacked right in the middle of my shed. it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. I approached it to investigate to see if it was ok and got close enough to touch it. I saw its feet and decided not to ^_^ but I snapped a pic of it and no one could tell me what it was. this site finally put my mission to rest. thank you!