We had several American Coots this morning during a walk which had moments of heavy rain.
I use the word “coot” in its ornithological meaning; not its secondary meaning of “humorous or eccentric old fellow” although there were likely a few of those as well.
Coots are members of the “rail” family and are best identified by their whitish beaks which can often be seen at great distances.
In Ontario, coots are found in the breeding season on shallow ponds and lakes with submerged vegetation near the surface often near stands of reeds.
Species list: great blue heron, mallard, wood duck, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, red-breasted nuthatch, American robin, Swainson’s thrush, ruby-crowned kinglet, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, white-throated sparrow. (17 species)
I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley. – Tennyson