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The birds

Coot

Coot

Already in March, and sometimes even earlier, in the waters, on which the ice has barely melted, there are herds of bald trees returning from wintering grounds in southern Europe. Gradually, pairs are formed, separating from the rest of the herd. Males start fighting for territories and to protect them: they ruffle their feathers, they spread their wings and "pedaling" on the water attack the intruder with beak and wing blows. Then they emit loud, sharp screams. The territory of each pair covers a small area covered with aquatic plants, on which he builds a nest with access to a pond of water.

Coot it is a common bird throughout Europe, except northern Scandinavia. It is content with even small ponds. Both adult birds participate in the construction of the nest using the stems and leaves of aquatic plants. They are fixed in reeds on a rush foundation or in islets on a silt foundation.

The female lays one egg a day in April and May. It ends after being lifted 5 do 12 jaj (4). Both parents take turns in them for 22-24 days, and after the chicks hatch, they feed them together. Small coots have black fluff, and the head is colored red and yellow (3). They leave the nest very quickly. They can dive in times of danger. For some time after hatching, they return to the nest, where they sleep and rest.

Body coots it is massive and rounded like this, that it resembles a duck rather in size and shape. However, it differs from it in its beak, which is not flat, but pointed, white in color passing at the root into a white teardrop-shaped frontal plate contrasting with a completely black coat (1). The plumage of adolescents is duller, belly and chest grayish. The young may not have a frontal plate, and if present, grey-green in color (2). Paws are not membranous, but with hard growths (5), which allow the identification of coot traces (6). Before taking off, the coot has to run through the water for a long time in the manner of diving ducks. It is hunted at the same time and in the same way as a crossword puzzle. The meat is not very appreciated because of the smell of mud. It is recommended to peel the skin off before cooking, and macerate the meat in milk. Game species.