Celery Farm, 7:40 a.m. Tuesday
Celery Farm Halloween sightings

Coots du jour


   In case you were wondering...

  Those goofy little black swimmers seen in abundance at the Celery Farm these days are coots.

   Some 50 were reported there yesterday.

  These birds have whitish bills, whitish rumps, and heads Coot_smallthat bob forward and back in pied-billed grebe-like fashion.

  Many might think these birds are part of the duck tribe, but they would be mistaken.

   Not only are these swimmers actually related to moorhens, rails, limpkins and gallinules, but they lack the webbed feet of their cousin canards.

   Riddle: These birds are officially called American coots. Eight American Coots were seen in Blakeney, England, a few years ago, during a Big Sit. But they weren't counted. Why?

   More info on coots: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/American_Coot.html