This section is from the book "The Bird Book", by Chester A. Reed. Also available from Amazon: The Bird Book.
Range. - Whole of temperate North America, from the southern parts of the British Provinces, southward; very common in suitable localities throughout its range.
The Coot bears some resemblance to the Florida Gallinule, but is somewhat larger, its bill is white with a blackish band about the middle, and each toe has a scalloped web. They inhabit the same marshes and sloughs that are used by the Rails and Gal-linules as nesting places, and they have the same retiring habits, skulking through the grass to avoid observation, rather than flying. Their nests are either floating piles of decayed vegetation, or are built of dead rushes in clumps of rushes on the banks. They generally build in large colonies. The eggs number from six to sixteen and have a grayish ground color, finely specked all over the surface with blackish. Size 1.80 x 1.30.
Florida Gallinule. Coot.