Order: Gruiformes Family: Rallidae Status: Breeding in Madeira
This is a fairly medium size waterbird with a rounded rump visible when swimming, long legs and large feet with lobe-shaped lateral extensions to toes.
An all sooty-black bird with conspicuous white facial shield and bill. It has yellow legs with grey feet. Juveniles are dark grey with paler face and throat.
When alarmed, runs awkwardly towards with flapping wings. It has a laborious take-off with much pattering over the surface and then flies strongly with large feet projecting.
These waterbirds are normally found on water reservoirs, streams or riverbeds with marginal vegetation.
Eurasian Coot can only be confused with the very similar species of Red-knobbed Coot (never recorded to Madeira) or American Coot (1 record only). The main difference between the Eurasian and the American is that the later is a bit smaller and has a bold white patch under the tail (like a Common Moorhen).
Wingspan: 70 - 80 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
Total length: 36 - 38 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
Weight: 600 - 900 g (Hume, 2002)
Seasonality in Madeira: All year
Breeding: It builds a large bowl of of wet vegetation on reeds. Lays between 6 and 9 eggs on one or two broods between April and August.
Diet: Feeds mainly underwater on grass, seeds, shoots, snails and small aquatic creatures.
Madeira local status by Romano et al, 2010: Rare breeding bird
Madeira local status by Zino et al, 1995: Seasonal vagrant bird
Conservation status by the IUCN Red List Categories, 2013: Least Concern ver 3.1
Spanish: Focha Común
French: Foulque macroule
Slovak: lyska čierna
Czech: Lyska černá
Join Madeira Wildlife Monthly Newsletter. All the updates on your email every month.