Jul 212014
 

I was in London last week for a conference. My hotel was near Kensington Gardens, one of London’s Royal Parks. I walked all over the gardens, saw the famous statue of Peter Pan, and sat by a pond watching the royal waterfowl. There were mute swans, tufted ducks, Egyptian geese, moorhens, great crested grebes, great blue herons, and abundant Eurasian coots.

Eurasian coot adult, Fulica atra.

A Eurasian coot chick strikes the same pose.

This is our local version — the American coot, Fulica americana. Note the different features on the face. Ours has marks at the tip of the beak and on the forehead.

And here is Peter Pan…

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Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

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Doug Herr
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There's also the Hawaiian Coot, Fulica alai:

http://www.wildlightphoto.com/birds/rallidae/hacoot00.html

Dermot McCabe
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A fun walk in the park, JUlie. I hope your report of Great Blue Heron doesn't start a twitchers' stampede!

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