Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Gruiformes > Rallidae > Fulica > Fulica americana

Fulica americana (American Coot)

Synonyms: Fulica hesterna
Language: French; Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The American coot (Fulica americana), also known as a mud hen, is a bird of the family Rallidae. Though commonly mistaken to be ducks, American coots belong to a distinct order. Unlike the webbed feet of ducks, coots have broad, lobed scales on their lower legs and toes that fold back with each step in order to facilitate walking on dry land. Coots live near water, typically inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies in North America. Groups of coots are called covers or rafts. The oldest known coot lived to be 22 years old.
View Wikipedia Record: Fulica americana


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 5.4352
EDGE Score: 1.86178


Clutch Size [7]  10
Clutches / Year [4]  2
Fledging [2]  54 days
Global Population (2017 est.) [3]  4,000,000
Incubation [4]  23 days
Maximum Longevity [4]  22 years
Migration [1]  Intercontinental
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds
Adult Weight [2]  1.351 lbs (613 g)
Birth Weight [4]  21 grams
Female Weight [6]  1.235 lbs (560 g)
Male Weight [6]  1.596 lbs (724 g)
Weight Dimorphism [6]  29.3 %
Breeding Habitat [3]  Freshwater marshes
Wintering Geography [3]  Widespread
Wintering Habitat [3]  Freshwater marshes, Coastal saltmarshes
Diet [5]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Granivore, Herbivore
Diet - Invertibrates [5]  20 %
Diet - Plants [5]  40 %
Diet - Seeds [5]  40 %
Forages - Water Surface [5]  50 %
Forages - Underwater [5]  50 %
Female Maturity [4]  1 year
Male Maturity [4]  1 year


Protected Areas

+ Click for partial list (100)Full list (230)


Important Bird Areas

Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area Canada A4i, A4iii
Oak Hammock Marsh WMA Canada A4i, A4iii

Biodiversity Hotspots

Prey / Diet

Dreissena rostriformis bugensis (quagga mussel)[8]
Podilymbus podiceps (Pied-billed Grebe)[8]
Ranunculus aquatilis (water buttercup)[9]
Stuckenia pectinata (sago pondweed)[9]
Typha latifolia (Reedmace)[9]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Branta canadensis (Canada Goose)1
Chilacis typhae (Bulrush Bug)1
Limosa fedoa (Marbled Godwit)1
Limosa haemastica (Hudsonian Godwit)1



Range Map

External References

NatureServe Explorer


Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
3Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
6Fredrickson, LH, JM Anderson, FM Kozlik, and RA Ryder. 1977. American coot (Fulica americana). Pages 123-147 in GC Sanderson, ed. Management of migratory shore and upland game birds in North America. Int. Assoc. Fish Wildl. Agencies, Washington, DC
7Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
8Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
9American Coot Nesting and Feeding Habits in Southeastern Washington, R. E. Fitzner, E. T. Sipco, R. G. Schreckhise, Northwest Science Vol. 54, No. 4, 1980, p. 244-252
10DIET OF THE GREAT HORNED OWL IN THE CRESTON VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1998 - 2005, Linda M. Van Damme, Wildlife Afield 2:2 December 2005, pp. 73-78
11Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 Wildfinder Database
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0