Monday, February 3, 2014

Alien Feet

A log barely jutting out of the water was a popular perch for a flock of American coots. Politely they took turns, clumsily climbing on and off in constant rotation. After I got the images loaded onto the computer, I noticed their feet. I was like 'huh?' Somehow they just don't go with the rest of the duck.

The American Coot is more closely related to Sandhill Cranes and Rails than mallards or teals. Although it swims with the ducks, it does not have webbed feet. Each of the coot's long toes has broad lobes of skin that help it kick through water. The lobes pull back each time the foot is lifted so it can walk on dry land and support its weight on muddy ground.






Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it.
Confucuis

36 comments:

Buttons said...

Oh Gail and this is why I come here I get to see and learn about things I never would see around here. You make travelling so easy with your incredible photography:) Thank you Hug B

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

Those feet are crazy!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Yes, I posted this quite a while ago about their feet and ability to walk on muddy waters/reeds because of the lobes. I think it's awesome!!!

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

those feet - are the greatest. wow, so different. can you like a bird for his/her feet? ( :

Nancy's Notes said...

Those feet look like he could ski! That Coot is a hoot!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Wonderful shots. I wish I had that kind of balance :)

Kittie Howard said...

Amazing feet! I went back and re-read your post after looking at the pics (also amazing -- really love the last one) and felt like I'd learned something really special. Thank you!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I often see these coots at the reservoir where I walk in summer, but I've never seen them up close like this. Those feet are amazing. And those unusual lighter stripes in their feathers...at first, I thought it must be a waterline mark. :) Another great set of images, Gail.

Amy Burzese said...

No kidding, Gail. Not pretty feet, not pretty at all. But, your shots are. Great again!

Breathtaking said...

Great shots and fascinating info, ...never knew this. I just assumed they had webbed feet.Many thanks!:)

Shug said...

Morning Gail.

Definitely NO dainty feet here. They are adorable though. I would say that they sure were doing a balancing act on that log and a pretty good act they did do.
love all the ripples in the water and the reflections that were captured...
have a blessed day..
shug

TexWisGirl said...

they always look like snakes or angle worms or something. so goofy. i've only seen them once in person at a nearby lake, but they were far out. these shots are great!

bailey-road.com said...

Fascinating birds.

Karen said...

Funny looking feet, but it's the red eyes that get my attention!

Anvilcloud said...

Hoe remarkable. Nice photos too.

Tricia said...

Their feet do look rather odd, don't they? Great photos :)

catskillblogger said...

Very strange looking.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

You captured them so well! Those feet are quite unique. I've never seen a coot.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

they have huge feet, don't they...

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Their feet look like hermit crabs to me.

ladyfi said...

Those shots are glorious!

DeniseinVA said...

That is fascinating about the feet. Great shots Gail!

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

At first I thought he had crab legs.

A View From A Brown Dog said...

Your images are incredible Gail. Simply... Stunning, wow.

eileeninmd said...

I just love the coots! Awesome photos, Gail! Have a great week!

Pallavi said...

Hehe. Alien feet :D beautiful pictures Gail . I was taken aback by their feet too ! Have a lovely week ❥

Christian WeiƟ said...

Very beautiful photos, the feeds of coots are unique.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I knew they didn't have webbed feet,but had no idea just how those feet looked. Great pictures.The Coots in your area must be more tolerant of humans.Here they take off at the first sign of a vehicle even slowing down.

Brian King said...

These are fantastic! Great detail. We get a lot of these guys during the winter.

Debbie said...

hehe, funny feet, they look like blue claw crabs...that's the name of the nj minor league baseball team ;)

well, your captures are amazing, so much detail and the water is beautiful!!

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

"Sho is a funny lookin dag." God's creations never cease to amaze me! Fascinating.

Barbara Shallue said...

How strange!! Thanks for getting these shots and sharing!

hootnonny said...

Such interesting birds in your neck of the woods, Gail. As always nice shots!

EG CameraGirl said...

Believe it or not I saw some coots here yesterday...but I was too far away to get good shots like yours.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I knew that about coots, but never got such good pictures ... really showing that their feet are definitely not webbed. And definitely do look a little alien.

Stephanie said...

Wow, those feet are kind of....creepy! Great photos, Gail, and in reality, the feet are actually very interesting :) Hugs to you!