Head and neck black; back black, tinged with cinereous: beneath paler.
F. atra, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 706. Common Coot, Mont. Orn. Diet, & Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 193. pl. 32. Coot, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 141.
Entire length sixteen inches: length of the bill (from the base of the frontal disk) one inch ten lines, (from the gape) one inch five lines; of the tarsus two inches two lines; of the middle toe three inches three lines; of the tail two inches; from the carpus to the end of the wing seven inches nine lines.
Head and neck deep black; back, wings, and all the upper parts, black, with a tinge of ash-gray: breast, belly, flanks, thighs, and under tail-coverts, deep bluish gray: frontal disk large, of a pure white: bill white, with a tinge of rose-red: irides crimson red: legs and toes ash-gray, tinged with greenish; naked part of the tibia orange-yellow. In young birds, the frontal disk is very small; the under parts of the plumage pale gray. (Egg). Stone-colour, speckled with nutmeg-brown: long. diam. two inches one line; trans, diam. one inch six lines.
Common in most parts of the country, frequenting lakes, rivers, and extensive ponds. Makes a large floating nest of flags, and other aquatic plants, and lays from eight to twelve eggs. Feeds on aquatic insects and vegetables. Obs. The Greater Coot (F. aterrima, Linn). is not distinct from the present species.