Saturday, October 16, 2010

Clowns in sober black

I think coots are my favourite birds. Ridiculous birds, black-suited and bejewelled as if for a formal occasion, but wearing someone else's floppy bedroom slippers. Contortionists, splay-footed divers, splashing maniacs running on water to get up enough speed to fly, with a voice like a kid learning to play the kazoo, or alternately, like the creak of a ratcheted wrench on a rusty bolt, or sometimes the ploop! of a cork coming out of an old medicine bottle. And, in spite of all that, just plain cute.

Coot and reflection

The reflection looks like a cartoon dolphin.

Wait! Are those my shoes?

They're good for paddling, anyhow.

Cute couple.

Red-eye special.


  1. I like coots and your post. We looked for the ridiculously ugly and funny young coots this spring. After seemingly seeing them forever, we didn't even find a single adult. They must go elsewhere for nesting and raising of the young.

  2. I agree, I love them too and I can't believe you actually go a photo of their feet!

  3. I love your description of the coot- we need more field guides with descriptions like that!


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