Coots are medium-sized water birds that are members of the rail family Rallidae. They constitute the genus Fulica. Coots have predominantly black plumage, and—unlike many rails—they are usually easy to see, often swimming in open water. They are close relatives of the moorhen. (c) Greg Bishop
The waterborne American Coot is one good reminder that not everything that floats is a duck. A close look at a coot—that small head, those scrawny legs—reveals a different kind of bird entirely.