HEN HEN COOT

We know what you’re thinking, “It was one of those with the big beak that came up onto its forehead, and weird looking dinosaur feet!”

 

Yeah, well you’re no oil painting yourself!

 

Anyway, we don’t all look alike. In fact, we’re three very different birds and you should pay more attention!

I’m the Purple Swamphen, and I’m tough. I’m the biggest and meanest out of all three of us, so you better not mix me up with these pipsqueaks again!

My chest is a b-e-a-utiful bluey-purple colour, my beak is big, thick, and bright red and I’m a head taller that these other two.

I’m also the only predator here! Sure, I’ll chew on some juicy reed shoots every now and again, but I’ll gobble down frogs and lizards, no problem. I’ll even eat the chicks of other birds (or just scoff their eggs) if they’re not looking. I’m not messing around!

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But I still look after family of course. I’ll stomp down a mound of vegetation for a nest and the whole family help out raising the chicks; siblings, parents, aunties and uncles, everyone has a go on the nest.

I’m actually pretty good babysitter… so long as your babies don’t look tasty.

I’m the Eurasian Coot. I know this isn’t Europe or Asia, but we came to WA on holiday and it was so nice here we decided to stay!

Now I have a white… that’s WHITE… beak. Honestly, I don’t know why this is so difficult for people. The other two have red beaks… R…E…D, understand? And before you call me “bald as a coot”, it’s not funny.

I suppose I should tell you about myself, uuuugh, fine! I’m small (compared to that great oaf of a swamphen), all my feathers are black, and I swim so well I’m basically a dolphin. I can swim down 7 meters deep when I’m looking for food.

I’m mostly vegetarian, except for a cheeky worm or a bit of fish.

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If you ever find yourself in the neighbourhood of my nest, please… don’t say hi. I don’t want to be friends.

So, yeah, um… hi. I…I’m the Dusky Moorehen… and I think maybe all this confusion is kind of my fault. See, the other two (the Purple Swamphen and the Eurasian Coot) don’t really look much alike, buuuuut I guess they both kind of look like me? I mean, I don’t think so, but tell me what you think.

I’ve got a red beak like the Purple Swamphen, but mine's got a yellow tip on it.

I’ve got dark feathers little the Eurasian Coot, but mine are more grey than black.

 

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I’m smaller than the Swamphen and I don’t have those wide toes for swimming like the Coot.

So, I guess, all in all, we’re not really that alike.

We are three very different birds!