Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Baby coots are noisy.

Two baby coots

They keep on shrieking as they’re swimming around, looking for their parents, making sure they’re around, trying to keep track of where the food is.

Two baby coots eating algae off of the canal bank while the adult coot looks on

It’s funny, because:

One adult coot and one baby coot

A) They’re RIGHT THERE

A baby coot eats algae while the adult coot looks on

B) There’s food ALL AROUND YOU.

Two baby coots swimming while the adult coot looks on

It’s just a good thing they’re so cute.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

They were down by the possible bird feeder’s house again today, showing off their clean and shiny teenager coats and learning how to dive.

One adult coot and one teenage coot

I love the way the white on their neck and breast just grows gradually grey as it moves up.

One teenage coot

There’s a footbridge that goes from Castle Boulevard to Castle Marina retail park.  Past the bridge, there’s a smaller coot nest with what looks like just one brand new baby.

One adult coot and a new nest with one baby in it.

I’m not going to get regular pictures of these new babies, but it’s great to see them!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

I think they’re being fed by people, because when I stopped to take a photo, they quickly rushed over to say “hi”.

Two adult coots and five baby coots

Sadly, I do not have food for them, so they quickly lose interest.

On the other hand, I got a great shot of one of the adults underwater and about to surface.

One baby coot and the adult coot underwater

It’s creepy.  I like it.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

I didn’t go along the same route this morning, so instead, we have “hanging around the nest” afternoon coots.

Two baby coots on the nest and two swimming around

Two of the babies are nearly the same size as the smaller of the adults. I’m surprised they can still hang out on the nest with how big they are.  The smaller adult was swimming around them, making sure they were fed and looked after.

While the bigger adult gave me dirty looks from the canal.

Adult coot under a bramble

C’mon, buddy, look at the thorns on that bush. Like I’m going to bother you.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

There’s one woman who lives next to the canal who I’m pretty certain occasionally feeds the birds.  Ducks and geese, mostly, because they’re greedy, but the other birds too.

One adult coot and four baby coots beside a concrete canal bank

I’m guessing this, because I think the coots have figured out where she lives now.

Two adult coots and four baby coots

Monday, 22 May 2017

It’s sunny, and that means they seem really active and happy.

One adult coot and three baby coots

There are still five of them, almost as large as their parents, and still learning what’s food and what isn’t.

One adult coot and one baby coot

Look at those giant feet!

One baby coot

Thursday, 19 May 2017

I had to take a different route to work yesterday, so I didn’t get to see the coots.

They must have missed me, because this time they were right next to the canal bank.

One adult coot and two baby coots

It looked like it was a mix of learning how to dive and learning how to eat along the canal.  The parents are still feeding them, but they’re also picking up their own bits and seeing if they’re edible.

Two baby coots

They’re getting closer and closer to the adults’ size.  They apparently develop their adult coats around three to four months.

One baby coot

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The problem with the baby coots learning how to dive for food is that all the photos of them turn into blurry disasters.

One baby coot and one adult coot

Even when they get closer to the side of the canal I’m on, they’re still moving around too much.

One baby coot

I managed to get one vaguely in-focus picture, and while it’s great to see them grow up, I just want to say “BE STILL.”

One baby coot and one adult coot

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Today the coots were down by the overspill again, apparently learning how to dive underwater to get food.

One adult coot with the five baby coots swimming around

So they go down…

One baby coot diving underwater while the another paddles by

Then pop back up.

Two baby coots while a third dives under the water

Their feathers, despite looking really fluffy and soft, are really waterproof.  You can see the individual water droplets sliding off them, which I didn’t expect.  They always look a little bedraggled compared to their parents, but the feathers spring back up into nice fluffiness right afterwards.

One of them had something in their mouth. What’cha get, little coot?

Three baby coots, one with something in their mouth.

Monday, 15 May 2017

What I really like about baby coots, aside from the name, is how they go through three stages of feather growth.

One baby coot and one adult coot

First there’s the little fluffy grey baby feathers and the scraggly orange ones on the head.  Then there’s the slightly longer grey with the white bits on the breast and neck.  Then there’s the sleek black and white coat the adults get.

Two baby coots and one adult coot.

The five babies are definitely in the middle stage now. All fluffy grey and white.

I wonder if it’s a camouflage thing.  When they’re mostly in the nest, they need to look more like twigs and debris.  When they’re swimming in the water, they need to look like grey clouds and dirty water.  Then when they’re adults, they’re fine.

Three baby coots and one adult coot.

They’re also well disguised against the metal walls of the canal bank. So they have that going for them.