Can you eat coots?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat coots?”. Along with this, we will also talk about coots, the classification of coots, what type of food can be made using coots and how we can utilize them.

Can you eat coots?

Yes, a person can eat coots. Coots are edible, but they need a little more cooking than the usual meat and are cooked in a special recipe to make them even tastier. 

Initially, it was thought that the meat of coot is not edible because it tastes bad. After all, they feed on mud. People keep on believing the theories and facts which are told to them by their ancestors but now this has been proven wrong since the time some people have started tasting coots.

Coots when cooked in Italian sauces and with Italian seasoning, the taste is even better. Coots are tastier when they are cooked after the removal of their fat because their fat makes them taste bad.

There has long been a debate about whether coots can be eaten or not but after long debate and experimenting with eating coots using different recipes, it is accepted that coots are the food that can be eaten.

Introduction to coots

Coots are medium-sized which can be found in water. These birds have a dark colour and are fat chubby birds that have the size similar to Moorhen. These birds have short tails and small heads.

An old saying says that ‘as bald as a coot’ because the adult coots have a white forehead and a bill. The white forehead of the coots is contrasted with the grey colour of the body and a blackhead. 

Along with whiteheads they have strong legs which have longer toes which are like a lobe. These lobed like toes are used by the birds for swimming in the water which resembles lobes being present on grebe toes.

The young coot is brown-grey which can be differentiated easily from the young moorhens because the young moorhens have white-coloured necks and breasts. Also, the tail of coots does not have white colour which is also present on the tail of moorhens.

Habitat of coots:

Coots have widely distributed in the areas of South America and many species of coots originated from here. These are also present in North America and Europe as well.

There are some species of coots that migrate at night. Whereas the species of coots that are present in America are rarely seen in the areas of Britain and Ireland. 

Eurasian coots can be found in the areas of Asia, Australia as well as in some parts of Africa. Coots are known as ‘water hen’ in southern Louisiana.

The behaviour of coots:

Coots feed upon aquatic plants from any body of water. When they swim, they look like ducks as they dive too. But when they are found on land, there they look like chickens where they are walking rather than wobbling.

Classification of coots

The scientific name of coots is Fulica atra which belongs to the kingdom Animalia and phylum Chordata. They come under the class of aves and genus Fulica

There are various species of coots some of which have become extinct over time. Some of the species which exist are as follows:

Hawaiian coot:

They are present in the Hawaii region.

American coot:

These species are present in the areas of the Pacific coast of North America as well as in northern South America.

Andean coot:

Andean coots are present in the areas of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Red gartered coot:

These species are present in the region of Argentina, southern Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Eurasian coot:

Eurasian coot is present in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.

Horned coot:

Horned coot is present in the region of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

Red-knobbed coot:

They are located in the areas of Africa, the Iberian Peninsula.

Giant coot:

These species are located in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru.

White-winged coot:

White-winged coot is located in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile.

Red-fronted coot:

These species are present in Argentina, Southern Brazil, Chile regions.

How can they be cooked?

Coots can be cooked by breasting out the bird and removing the fats and silver membrane. After removing fat and skin, put meat in oil, onions, mushrooms and garlic. After that sauté the ingredients and then seasoned them with salt and pepper to add more taste.


In this article, we have answered the question “Can you eat coots?’. Along with this, we will also talk about coots, the classification of coots, what type of food can be made using coots and how we can utilize them.


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