Wild Birds – Eurasian Coot

The Eurasian Coot

The Eurasian Coot is another water bird I saw on my daily walks around the pond in Doreen. The Coot is often mistaken for a duck, however it is smaller in size and has a distinctive  white bill and face shield. Its body is a sooty grey, with a black neck. It  has  red eyes  and grey legs.

Eurasian coot-with young chick

Wild Birds -Eurasian coot-is widely distributed throughout Australia.

What does it eat?

The Eurasian Coot is widely distributed throughout Australia, and is found in  swamp areas, lakes, reservoirs, creeks and rivers.The Coot will dive for its food and is a good swimmer and flyer. It feeds on vegetable matter with a few insects, worms and fish to supplement the diet.

Wild Birds Eurasian Coot-with-Chick-

Wild Birds- Eurasian Coot-with-Chick-feeding on the pond. Melbourne Victoria

Breeding habits

Breeding season is from winter to spring, but they may breed at any time if conditions are favorable. The Eurasian Coot can be very aggressive towards other species during the breeding season and have been known to kill other young birds and take over the nest. It is a wild bird and has been known to kill its own young in a season when food is scarce.

The nest of the Eurasian Coot  may be built on floating vegetation, in reeds, or on logs or tree stumps surrounded by water.  Both birds share the incubation and parenting duties. It lays 7-10 eggs which are whitish in color and spotted. The chicks  are a soft downy black with an orange-red head and a red bill, very tiny and very cute.

The Eurasian Coot sometimes gather in large flocks with other wild birds such as grebes and swans on large expanses of water out of the breeding season.



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  1. In the states we have the American Coot which is also very dark/black with red eyes. They are so similar I am surprised that they are considered different birds!

    • Hi Suzanne, I’m surprised as well. I would have thought maybe a sub species of one another. They are fairly common across Australia, although this was the first time I have encountered them. Thanks for your comment. Lyn

  2. Nice Post…Eurasian coot is the official CITY BIRD of Abiko in JAPAN.Thanks for sharing

    • Hi! No I didn’t know that. The city of Abiko certainly has a cute representation of the Eurasian Coot as its official city bird.Thanks for the info. Lyn

  3. The Eurasian coot is about 17 inches long. Its head and neck are black and the rest of the body is dark grey. They live in a nest made of reeds and grass located at the bank. i like Eurasian Coot..

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