These are big birds. Weighing in at over 16 pounds, they are over five feet long and have a 9 foot wingspan. They are one of the largest birds in North America. They winter on the coasts, but only breed inland. You can see two in the pictures posted here that are in breeding condition – they develop a knob protruding upward from the upper mandible.
The first time I saw a Coot was very early in the AM at Perry Lake, and I immediately thought, “What in the world kind of duck is that?” Well, there was just enough light to take a pic good enough for ID, and as any Coot will tell you, “I am not a duck.” A beak not a bill, and HUGE lobed feet instead of webbed feet. I’ve taken many pictures of them since, one series in particular made for quite a story.