Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

American Coots Visit The Inner Harbor

American Coots Visit The Inner Harbor

If you’ve walked around the Inner Harbor lately, you may have noticed a different waterbird than those usually found there -an American Coot.  The American Coot (Fulica americana) exists year round in western parts of the U.S., where water is consistently habitable, but in the East, they are generally observed only in fall and winter during migration.

This dark gray to black shorebird is commonly mistaken for a duck, however, it’s slightly curved, chicken-like bill reveals that it belongs to the rail family of birds. The American Coot is often regarded as “noisy” due to its short repetitive squawks and noted as ungraceful, from their awkward landings and take offs.

Researchers at Stanford report “Coots are among the least graceful of marsh birds. Commonly called ‘splatterers,’ they scramble across the surface of the water with wings flapping not only to confront intruders but also to become airborne” and “Appearing somewhat like aquatic pigeons, coots also bob their heads while swimming.”

The American Coot is also “renowned for the aggressiveness with which it repels intruders, the male American coot marks its territory by patrolling, charging and water splashing, but on occasions fighting ensues, and it will viciously attack trespassers by striking with the bill and slashing with the claws” (

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I always like to see the variety of life in the inner harbor area, I live near by and I have seen some species of birds more often in the city than I have in the county. In the spring and fall, because I am up so high, geese fly by my windows.

Comment by ralahinn1

When I was an incipient Lefty and comfortable with my mental defects and lilly-pad on the pond, I used to drink the Green Bile like him, and just like a Stropharia cubensis mushroom it sulase–herl makes you hear colors and see musical notes…but it's not kool-aid and it gives incredible indigestion – but mainly it's loaded with ass-burn worse than a burrito full of scotch bonnets…

Comment by Laticia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: