The American Coot is a waterborne, dark gray to black bird that often mixes with ducks. Its bill is white and the eyes are red.
Instead of webbed feet like ducks, the toes of the Coot are lobed to aid in swimming. American Coots are closer relatives to Rails than to Mallards or Teals.
American Crow and Common Raven
The American Crow is a large bird with iridescent black feathers. It is the size of a pigeon. The Common Raven is a larger bird with similar black feathers as the Crow. It is the size of a Red-tailed Hawk. The Raven’s bill is also larger than that of the Crow.
The call of the Crow is a loud harsh cawing whereas the Raven’s call is a lower guttural croaking.
The Crow’s tail feathers are basically the same length, so when the bird spreads its tail, it opens like a fan. Ravens, however, have longer middle feathers in their tails, so their tail appears wedge-shaped when open.
January 7 and February 4. Two options: 7:30–10am or 8–10am (choose a 2-hour or a 2.5-hour walk.) Both walks are free but you must RSVP at www.blufflake.org/birdwatching. All are welcome. Bring your own binoculars, or borrow a pair from your guide. 11255 MLK Blvd. Search FrontPorchNE.com for “Bird Sightings” to see all the past bird stories and photos from George Ho.