Luciano Giussani

Any old coot won't do for bird

LOVE is in the air for the Australian coots as they search the Sunshine Coast wetlands for that special someone.

The common bird is black and identified by red eyes, a white beak and funky-looking partially webbed feet.

Susanna Bradshaw, the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife acting CEO, said coots were highly territorial during winter and spring when they are breeding, but were harmless to humans.

“They swim menacingly towards any intruders and can fight like champion boxers with other birds,” Ms Bradshaw said.

“Mating displays are also impressive. When a coot wants to attract a breeding partner, it chases its desired coot and calls and strikes the water with its wings.

“Once a pair of coots agrees they like each other, they nibble each other’s feathers affectionately and make greeting postures towards each other.”

But while they may act adoringly towards one another, the cheeky birds will often take over duck nests, pushing the owner’s eggs into the water, to claim it as their roosting site.

Keep an eye out around our waterways for the cute coot chicks, which will come out in force in the next month or so.

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