What I really like about baby coots, aside from the name, is how they go through three stages of feather growth.
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.
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.
They’re also well disguised against the metal walls of the canal bank. So they have that going for them.