Coot Tapas

American Coot (Fulica americana)

Restaurants that serve small plates (“tapas”) offer a heavy feast compared to what this mudflat offers the American Coot (Fulica americana). Whatever the bird may be eating is so small that my camera can’t pick it up. Even in the slow motion segment (about 10 seconds in) I don’t see any bits of food as big as a pinhead. Yet the bird clearly sees something, and pecks at it energetically. I doubt that the food value is enough to compensate for the energy output required. In the last few seconds of the video, the bird seems to be drinking seawater from a shallow puddle, as if washing down the copious feast it’s just ingested. I’ve seen Coots grazing on grass landside, and diving to pick up gobs of seaweed from the cove bottom, and that’s all very understandable. This pecking at invisibles in the mud, by contrast, has me scratching my head. What in heck is the bird eating? It’s another item for my MATWOB file (Mysterious Are The Ways Of Birds).

American Coot (Fulica americana)

More about them: Wikipedia Cornell Audubon In Chavez Park

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One thought on “Coot Tapas

  • April 16, 2021 at 5:34 pm
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    Maybe the coot snaps up amphipods or sand fleas that jump into its beak and are too swift & low contrast for the video . . .the video thinks they are an errant pixel so it corrects them.

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