A few months ago I wrote about a short stop we had at Kapunda to have a cup of tea. We were travelling from Clare back home to Murray Bridge. When we stop for a cuppa we always look for promising birding spots. By doing that we’ve seen some excellent birds over the years.
One of the delights of this particular stop was the family of baby Eurasian Coots that stormed over to where we were having our picnic cuppa. They must have been very used to people because they were quite unconcerned about walking all around us, between our legs and searching around the picnic table for any loose crumbs from our biscuits.
Such obliging photographic subjects are hard to find in the natural environment. This however, was far from a natural environment. The picnic grounds were next to an artificial lake often frequented by humans. The birds quickly learn that humans are an easy touch for free handouts.
Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
- White Faced Heron – with photos taken at the same location.
- Picnic at Kapunda – from my travel blog.
Very cool pictures of those coots. Are they very common?
Thanks for the compliment. Eurasian Coots are common throughout Australia wherever there is suitable habitat – rivers, wetlands, swamps, lakes, estuaries. They often gather in loose flocks numbering in the hundreds and sometimes even thousands.
why do coots attack other birds and even drown them. They are so aggressive
Hi there Mike.
Coots are very aggressive by nature. This aggression – especially towards their own species and even against their own offspring has two triggers.
They are very territorial when breeding and will aggressively hunt off intruders.
Secondly, when food is scarce they will even kill their own offspring to survive.
To read a better account of this behaviour read this article:
I was surprised to read else where that these birds an be so aggressive, but perhaps that’s survival of the species? I have been watching the coots on a pond nearby and only saw the babies when they were newborn, so cute. No doubt you were thrilled with such a close up encounter. the pics are wonderful. thanks