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Eurasian Coot

(Fulica atra)
Alternate name(s): "Coot"
German name(s): "Blässhuhn", "Blässralle" ("Blesshuhn", "Blessralle")

Size: 35-38 cm; wing span 70-80 cm
Weight: 585-1100 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Eurasian Coot at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "atra"


Near-frontal view of an Eurasian Coot (photo courtesy of M. Thomas)
[Odense, Denmark, September 2017]

Near-frontal view of an Eurasian Coot (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, March 2013]

Lateral view of an Eurasian Coot on a fresh water lake
[Holzmaar, Eifel, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, June 2006]


Near-lateral view of a juvenile Eurasian Coot on a pond
[Wassenaar, Netherlands, 1998]

Lateral view of a juvenile Eurasian Coot on a freshwater lake
[Holzmaar, Eifel, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, August 2014]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Mar - Jun Eggs: 6 - 10 Incubation period: 21 - 24 days Fledging age: 31 - 39 days

Eurasian Coot chicks are precocial, i.e. they leave the nest at a very young age, long before they can fly.

Eurasian Coot with chicks (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[River Rhine, near Walluf, Germany, May 2017]


Type: Basket Material: Reeds Height above ground: N/A

The nest can be floating on water, affixed to a plant, or sit on top of a low, flat object, such as e.g. an old reed stump.

Adult Eurasian Coot brooding a chick, with a juvenile, probably from an earlier clutch, still around
[Wassenaar, Netherlands, 1998]

Adult Eurasian Coot brooding a chick, with a juvenile, probably from an earlier clutch, now also on the nest
[Wassenaar, Netherlands, 1998]

Adult Eurasian Coot with a precocial chick
[Wassenaar, Netherlands, 1998]


Size: 52 x 35 mm Colour: Light-brown, with sparse mid-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval


As opposed to most Moorhens or Swamphens, which are primarily waders, the Eurasian Coot will also dive for food in shallow water.

Food, Diet

To the best of our knowledge Eurasian Coots feed on aquatic plants, but also on small animals.


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

eurcoot_20161208.m4a australis
Alarm call © MD
eurcoot_20151203.mp3 australis
Alarm calls © MD
eurcoot_20160725_2.mp3 australis
Warning calls(?) © MD
eurcoot_20161208_2.m4a australis
Upset/fighting(?) © MD
eurcoot_20161208_2.mp3 australis
? (Immature) © MD
eurcoot_20140716.mp3 australis
? (Immature) © MD
eurcoot_20161104.mp3 australis
Alarm calls (chick) © MD
eurcoot_20140716_2.mp3 australis
? © MD
eurcoot_20140716_3.mp3 australis
? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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