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Length 38â€“45 cm (15â€“18 in)
Juvenile - Paler than adult, with a white breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult's black plumage develops when about 3-4 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old.
 Similar Species
Similar to the Eurasian Coot (F. atra) which lacks the red knobs. The knobs may not always be obvious in the field. Note that the black feathering between the shield and the bill is more rounded in Red-knobbed Coot. In Eurasian Coot the bill feathering comes to an acute angled point at the side of the bill.
Freshwater lakes and ponds.
Reluctant to fly. When taking off it runs across the water with much splashing.
Monogamous. It builds a nest of dead reeds near the water's edge or afloat, up to 8 eggs are laid.
Mainly eats plant material, supplemented with molluscs, crustaceans and insects; occasionally the eggs of other water birds.
Generally noisy. Calls include a fast "kerrre" and a harsh "ka-haa."
Part of the population is resident, but most are nomadic, moving in response to rainfall. Numbers fluctuate regardless of rainfall indicating some movement even in dry years.
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