The Coot is a dull velvet black colour throughout the body with one of the only distinctive features being the white forehead and beak. They fly close to the water revealing white trailing edges at the underneath tips of the wings.


Found commonly throughout Europe in fresh and brackish waters such as reservoirs, lakes and estuaries.


The Coot has an omnivorous diet feeding on algae, seeds, fruits and the eggs of other water birds.

Predators & Threats

Like many small to medium sized birds, the Coots main predators include large birds of prey such as osprey and eagles. Whilst they are very defensive creatures their eggs are at risk from racoons, foxes and other mammalian predators.


  • The Coot is the largest species within the rail bird family.
  • They can dive up to 2 meters below water.
Common Name(s)Scientific Name
 CootFulica atra
 35-40 cm
 Approx. 5 years.

Best Time to Look

All year round

Where to find Coot