Hawaiian Coot 2016

Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai 2016

The Hawaiian coot (Fulica alai), also known as the ʻalae kea in Hawaiian, is a bird in the rail family, Rallidae, that is endemic to Hawaiʻi.[2] It is similar to the American coot at 33–40.6 cm (13.0–16.0 in) in length and weighing around 700 g (1.5 lb). It has black plumage and a prominent white frontal shield. Its natural habitats are freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, coastal saline lagoons, and water storage areas. The bird was federally listed in October 1970 as an endangered species [3] and is considered both endemic and endangered by the state of Hawaii. It is threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators such as the small Asian mongoose.[1] The Makalawena Marsh on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi has been listed as a National Natural Landmark to preserve one of its last nesting areas.

Cool Facts

  • In Hawaiian culture, it was thought to be a deity but was also considered good to eat.
  • This bird builds floating nests in just about any standing water including irrigation ditches, sewage treatment ponds, and wet taro fields.
  • A group of coots has many collective nouns, including a "codgery", "commotion", "fleet", "shoal", and "swarm" of coots.
  • The Hawaiian Coot is known as "Alae keokeo" in the Hawaiian language.


Hawaiian Coot Range

Range Map

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