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Slate-colored Coot - BirdForum Opus

Bird with white bill
Photo © by juninho
Pantanos de Villa, Peru, October 2005

Alternative name: Andean Coot

Fulica ardesiaca


16 inches
Slate colour, blackish head and neck, bulging frontal shield, and variable bill and shield colors. Typical form in the south of the range has blood-red shield with yellowish bill; birds with white bill and either white or yellow shield are more common in the north end of the range.

Bird with red shield
Photo © by BirdsPeru
Huaraz, Peru July 2001

Similar species

American Coot has a darker overall color and flatter shield but with more white on sides of undertail coverts.


Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to northern Argentina and northern Chile.


Formerly lumped within American Coot, F. americana.


Two subspecies are recognized[1].

  • F. a. atrura - Andes of southern Colombia and Ecuador (and presumably northern Peru), and coastal Peru
  • F. a. ardesiaca - Andes of Peru (except perhaps in far north) south to northern Chile (Antofagasta) and northwestern Argentina (northern Catamarca)


Immature bird identified through a nearby adult
Photo © by NJLarsen
PN El Cajas, Azuay, Ecuador June 18, 2019

Lakes and marshes, sometimes found down to sea level but regularly in Andean high steppe.


Feeds on underwater vegetation where taking both plant matter and invertebrates. Usually found on open water but will seek shelter in reeds and rarely feed on grassy shores.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. "atrura" described in Fjeldsa, 1983 Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 103 p.22
  3. Alvaro Jaramillo. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton Field Guides. ISBN 0-691-11740-3
  4. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  5. Ridgely and Greenfield 2001. The birds of Ecuador. ISBN 9780801487217

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.