Monitoring progress of Coot family
For a period of about one month I have been monitoring progress of a pair of breeding Coots in a pond at my local country park, Rouken Glen, Glasgow.
The pair have progressed from constructing a rough pile of twigs about 20 feet offshore to something of an avian palace due to the flourishing vegetation which has grown up around them. The core foundation for the nest seems to be lily pads.
Information on Coots, as sourced from Wildlifetrusts.org website
A familiar black bird of our lakes, ponds and rivers, the coot is widespread; look out for its large and untidy-looking nest on the water in spring. The coot can be distinguished from the similar Moorhen by its white beak and 'shield', and its entirely black body.
A familiar bird of our wetlands, the coot is often seen on park lakes, ponds and rivers. It spends more of its time on the water than its relative, the moorhen, and will dive to catch small invertebrates. Unlike ducks, coots will bring their catch to the surface before eating it, leading to squabbles over food. Coots breed in spring, laying between six and nine eggs in nests made among emergent vegetation. Coot chicks are black with orange fluff around the face and body; they are independent within two months of hatching.
Information on monitored pair
About four hatchlings started to emerge about 48 hours ago, with, possibly, up to another four to come. The orange colouring makes the chicks easy to spot.
The parents are incredibly hard working- in locating food for their family- and very defensive of their brood. It has been a pleasure to watch the family develop.
The big challenge now for the parents is to defend the chicks against predators such as Herons and Crows.
More images are provided below.
Feed time for Coot chick.
View of nest with chicks visible in right hand section.
Parent bringing in food to the nest
Feed time for chick
Two chicks exploring the big (and dangerous) outside world.
I plan to continue to monitor the progress of this family group and report progress via social media.