Australasian Coot (Fulica atra) are a waterfowl in the rail family, that also includes Pukeko and Takahe, that self-introduced from Australia in the mid Twentieth Century.
Coots are about the size of bantam hens, with dark grey, almost black plumaage with a distinctive white beak and crest on their head as adults, although in juveniles the beak and crest are red. In contrast with their larger relatives the pukeko, coots are entirely aquatic, and rarely stray from water.
In Marlborough, coots can be seen at the Taylor Dam, where they have a well established breeding colony. They are also present at Lake Elterwater, and probably other wetlands.
The examples shown were observed at the Taylor Dam.
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