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Slate-colored Coot Fulica ardesiaca


The Slate-colored Coot is also known as the Andean Coot. It is a large coot and one which has been considered to be somewhat closely related to the American Coot as opposed to the other coots in South America; it has a white trailing edge on the wing like the American and White-winged coots. The Slate-colored Coot is essentially a bird of the central Andes of South America, although it also breeds in the coasts of Peru to northern Chile. What is absolutely baffling is that the species comes in two versions, one which has a yellow bill with a red shield and green legs, and another with a white bill and shield and whitish legs. The white shielded birds also have a larger and more bulbous bill than that of the red shielded form. The two forms also differ ecologically, and in their distribution. For example almost all Chilean Slate-colored Coots are red-shielded, and the few white shielded birds which show up are always in the coastal lowlands. In many ways these two coot forms, currently considered morphs, act different enough that one wonders if two species are involved here. This certainly is a question that needs to be tackled using a molecular approach.

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© Bennett Hennessey

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Slate-colored Coot (Fulica ardesiaca), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: