Diet for a Coot

American Coot

These American Coots live in the rocks around the Open Circle viewpoint.  The two in this video are part of a little flock of maybe five or seven who stay here year round.  Many dozens, sometimes hundreds, arrive in migration in late fall and leave again in the spring.  I’ve written about them here several times. As the video shows, they eat watery greens.  They’re mainly vegetarian, but not totally.  The  Cornell bird lab website points out:

Eats mainly aquatic plants including algae, duckweed, eelgrass, wild rice, sedges, hydrilla, wild celery, waterlilies, cattails, water milfoil; when on land they also pick at terrestrial plants and sometimes eat grains or leaves of oak, elm, and cypress trees. They’re not exclusively vegetarian. You may also see them eating insects (beetles, dragonflies, and others), crustaceans, snails, and small vertebrates such as tadpoles and salamanders.  

Watch this video on YouTube if the embedded version below doesn’t work; YouTube embeds have got balky lately.

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