Thursday, 10 April 2014

188. Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

Eurasian Coots are another very common waterbird of lakes, reservoirs, ponds and slow-moving rivers, with a very similar distribution to Moorhens. In the UK they are resident but their numbers are swelled in winter by birds that have migrated from further north. They are sometimes confused with Moorhens but are easily distinguished by their white bill and head-shield, larger more rounded body with no white markings, and more aggressive behaviour - Moorhens are rather shy and retiring in comparison. If you get a look at the feet too, they are also very different - Moorhen toes are long, slim and yellow-green, but Coot toes are long and pale grey with big lobes. The juvenile plumage is grey-brown, with a paler breast and throat.

Eurasian Coot, ©Ekaterina Papchinskaya, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Eurasian Coot painting.

Chris said that if I was doing a Coot I would have to find a picture with the amazing feet on show, so here you go. Don't think I've ever spent so long painting feet! Also I usually try to avoid outlining things, but with no background the bill would have disappeared completely so I've done a subtle outline. All in all, I'm quite happy with it :o)

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