Red-knobbed Coot

© Karl Svendsen


Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata)

Red-knobbed Coot Appearance

The red-knobbed coot has all black plumage with a white bill and frontal shield. 2 red knobs are found on the head, at the top of the shield. This bird has grey legs and a red eye. These red knobs are more conspicuous during the breeding season. As a swimming bird, its toes are partially webbed.
The female is around the size of a small chicken, 39 cm long. The male is larger in size.

Red-knobbed Coot Diet

The red-knobbed coot feed mainly on plant matter, but will occasionally take insects.

Red-knobbed Coot Breeding

Monogamous, the red-knobbed coot builds a floating nest on a mound of vegetation. Lays up to 8 eggs.

Red-knobbed Coot Behaviour

The coot is a highly territorial species and will try and bully any intruders, even geese up to twice their size. This coot is often seen running across the water, without flying.

Red-knobbed Coot Distribution and Habitat

Found throughout South Africa, in a wide range of freshwater bodies. Absent from arid areas.