American Coot (Fulica americana)

This ungraceful bird has earned the nickname splatterer for its method of scrambling across the water and flapping its wings when confronting intruders as well as in becoming airborne.


The American coot breeds throughout much of southern Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Birds may be found year-round throughout the west, and in the southern half of the United States and Mexico. Wintering populations occur on the Pacific coast of British Columbia, and in a large patch of the east-central United States.

Breeding occurs in freshwater environments. For a complete species account, visit the Great Lakes section.