Meet the Neighbors: American Coot

For the introduction to this series, see here

American Coots, sometimes called mud hens, will only be your neighbor if you live in the right neighborhood. You need to live by a lake or pond because they never go far from water. These birds are not related to ducks. They are actually related to sand hill cranes! You may notice them bobbing their heads as they move through the water. They do this to propel themselves because they do not have webbed feet. Coots eat plants and I have even seen them eating lettuce! With their enormous lobed toes and funny round shape, these birds are very fun to watch.

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