A Slew of Old Coots

American Coot fleeing from an attackAmerican Coot fleeing from an attack from another coot – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

“Crazy Old Coot” is a term that many of us know and associate with a foolish person, especially an old man. I’ve seen a lot of coots in my life, both the feathered and non-feathered kinds. I’m not sure though why coots were associated with “foolish people” or “old men”.

Curious American CootCurious American Coot – Nikon D200, f9, 1/320, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light

A test for being an old Coot might go something like this, you might be an old Coot if:

  • You sit on a rocking chair and can’t get it going.
  • Your knees buckle but your belt won’t.
  • Your back goes out more than you do.
  • Everything hurts, and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work.
  • Your little black book contains only names ending in “M.D.”
  • You need glasses to find your glasses.

An American Coot with more than it can chewAn American Coot with more than it can chew – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Now some old Coots do bite off more than they can chew but only an American Coot; with actual feathers and green clownish feet, are birds.

American Coot wing flapAmerican Coot wing flap – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

There is also a phrase “bald as a coot” and I truly don’t know where that comes from because in all the time I have been photographing birds I have never once seen a bald coot.

American Coot in a defensive postureAmerican Coot in a defensive posture – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 321mm, natural light

Frankly I love Coots. I love how they posture their plump bodies, squawk, puff up and get an attitude.

And yes, I am talking about the feathered kind.

Mia

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