American Coot, Fulica americana – Viera Wetlands; Viera, Florida
One of the most common water birds on the continent is the American Coot. During winter coots congregate in large rafts of hundreds, and even thousands of birds. On the last day of 2012 I was at the Viera Wetlands where the various water impoundments held numerous rafts of coots. While I was photographing hooded mergansers, this coot swam away from a raft of a few hundred birds giving me the opportunity to shoot an individual portrait.
Coots are often overlooked by photographers because they are so common, and not the most handsome of our birds. But, I enjoy photographing all birds as long as I have a willing subject and great light. This coot was both willing and in good light, and with that dark red eye I think he’s a quite dapper fellow!
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/640 @ f7.1, Tripod