American Coot, Fulica americana


American Coot
The familiar "mudhen" is actually a photographic challenge -- it's hard to retain detail in both the black feathers and the white bill. Sort of like a wedding, where the photographer must capture the white-clad bride and black-clad groom in the same image. The bird gains some glamor when it swims through a reflection of Fall foliage.


American Coot


American Coot


American Coot


American Coots
Baby coots: Cute? Hideous? All of the above?


American Coot


American Coot


American Coot
American Coots, both in June of their first year: above, still with the wiry feathers, yellow bill, and dark brown eyes of a chick; below, further along in development, with full juvenal plumage, and the orange eyes and light gray bill with red spot that go with it.


American Coot