Coot Bird is a rather buoyant, fat-looking bird, completely uniform charcoal-black with an obvious white bill and frontal shield on the forehead. In flight it shows grey flight feathers with a white trailing edge to the secondaries. The eye of Coot Bird is red and the feet greyish-pink. Often in large groups on lakes, diving or upending, but will also graze on grassy margins. It flies well, with its curious flat-lobed feet trailing behind, but take-off is rather messy with lots of splashing and pattering on the surface before lift-off is achieved.
Coot Bird is very common and widespread over much of American region, Coot can be found on a variety of freshwater habitats, preferring rather shallow water where they can feed on submerged or emergent vegetation. They avoid water bodies with confined spaces, requiring a reasonable amount of open water, and outside the breeding season can congregate in large numbers on larger lakes and reservoirs.
The most commonly heard call of Coot Bird, and the one that it supposedly takes its name from, is a short sharp "kuhk!" or "geowhl", quite loud and often repeated, variable in tone and volume and given more conversationally as "egh-ekh-egh-ekh". Another similar call is a harder sequence of pairs of sharp notes, "uk-owk uk-owk uk-owk", plus it gives a very short, high-pitched explosive "ihh!" or "pip!", given in aggression or intimidation towards fellow Coots. Coot Bird often makes quite a lot of noise by splashing about, and also gives a strangled "gheeo" when flying around its territory on spring nights. Juveniles and small chicks can often be heard calling, with a weak and plaintive "whee-ip".