Are coot kids cool?

It’s easy to overlook American coots since they seem to inhabit every bit of water around the countryside. Their plentiful numbers indicate they have no trouble raising their young.

It took a few springs but I eventually noticed something unusual about coot kiddies. They all look adopted. Those little coots are the most amusing and odd creatures with that spattering of a most unexpected orange. And they have a face only a mother (and perhaps yours truly) could love.

I don’t know if mama coots are colour blind or don’t care about the wild colour scheme but you’d think it would raise a few eyebrows. Whose kids are these anyway? But coots do what their neighbours do – pretend the whole thing is normal and look after the little weird ones.

Against all odds, the kids eventually look like real black coots. And then the next year it all happens again.

I’m thinking there must be a moral buried somewhere in that story but I can’t seem to put my finger on it!

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Latest Comments

  1. hannele says:

    Seems to be the case with lots of birds – perhaps they just like variation and raise each others’ kids?

    Beautiful shots, and nice to see that they sprinkle some green on their feathers just to add to the confusion.


  2. Cindy says:

    Great shots and they’re definitely adorably cute.


  3. Dina says:

    Superb shots, they are to die for!! 🙂


  4. MJF Images says:

    Look how high that chick is floating in the top photo! Wow!


  5. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great shots ~ Never realized how ‘unique’ coot kids looked 🙂


  6. Inger says:

    Awesome captures with the green background. Little weird ones for sure – but I think they look kinda cool:) Cool kids on the block!


  7. Steve Gingold says:

    Cute cootlets and nice shots, Lyle. I’m surprised they don’t have more duckweed on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mandy says:

    Yes coot kids are cool, especially when you present them. Did you know that in New Zealand coots are called pukeko (pronounced something like “poo kicker”)? Her is Aus we just call them coots or swamp hens.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mike Powell says:

    Are you getting more mellow as you age, Lyle? You are increasing featuring cute creatures in your postings, like these cute cootlets and your recent otters. Are cats next?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Janes Heartsong says:

    They are so ugly they’re coot. The one flapping its wings had me laughing, as does any bird that age. Great captures. I called the subject in one of my photos “Spike”.


  11. Vicki says:

    I’ve photographed Eurasian Coot chicks in the Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne and they look just as ugly.
    Great photos of the chicks.


  12. Alison says:

    Such tiny wings and thick, sturdy legs – and talk about a bad hair day! These pictures make me smile. Very nice!


  13. Lavinia Ross says:

    I have never seen a coot chick! They are adorable in an unusual sort of way. They look like those Star Trek Tribbles with little dinosaur heads and stubby wings, Coots always make my day. Than you for those photos. 🙂


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I was thinking of you when I put this post together. I’m happy that I introduced you to these unusual little characters. I can safely say I’ve never seen anything quite like them. It looks like they were put together with random pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Gunta says:

    Coots certainly do seem to be conquering the duck world. My partner tells me it’s because they taste awful and nobody hunts them. That first shot looks like mom is wondering where that strange critter came from (just to back up your story -or was that what inspired it?) But I have to agree that they ARE cute, at least until they grow up and join the floating mobs.


  15. Susan says:

    Adorable …and yes, very cool!


  16. Cornel Ap. says:

    They are a bit odd. I wonder if they make noise.


  17. Seenorway says:

    He he, – In the first picture it looks kind of like 60-70 years old?
    But ‘cool’? Yesss!


  18. David says:

    Very nice captures and story line. I’d say the moral is that of the ugly duckling but let’s face it; a coot is no swan.


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