Mud Hens - No Not Toledo

April 22, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The American Coot is sometimes referred to as a Mud Hen.  Today is the first time I saw the American Coot in our area since last December when I made the photos currently in the Rail & Coot gallery.  The American Coot is not a duck.  It is smaller than most waterfowl and is the only black water bird with a white bill.

American Coot

American Coot (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, f/3.2 @ 300mm, 1/3200, ISO 400)


The American Coot, a migrator to southern states, Mexico, and Central America, is an excellent diver and is usually found in large flocks.

American Coot

American Coot (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, f/3.2 @ 300mm, 1/3200, ISO 400)


Anyone photographing wildlife "in the wild" cannot pose the animal or pick and choose what the animal is doing for the photo.  We make sure we have the best camera settings for the lighting, weather conditions, and maybe even the effect we want to convey.  The rest is up to the animal.  Up until today I have posted several Wood Duck images on this website.  As I was along the lake this evening dealing with the wind and the temperature dropping into the 50's, I pulled up the zipper of my jacket.  That noise spooked a pair of Wood Ducks that were 80 yards away.  I wish I could hear that well!  As the sun was getting low in the sky I was happy to capture this image of the male Wood Duck in flight.  My first.

Wood Duck

Male Wood Duck In Flight (Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm 2.8L, f/2.8 @ 300mm, 1/4000, ISO 200)


Thanks for looking,



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