Giant coot

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Giant coot
Fulica gigantea Chile.jpg
Giant coot at northern Chile
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Fulica
Species: F. gigantea
Binomial name
Fulica gigantea
Eydoux & Souleyet, 1841

The giant coot (Fulica gigantea) is a species of coot from South America. It is found at lakes in the altiplano from central Peru, through western Bolivia, to north-eastern Chile and extreme north-western Argentina.


With a total length of 48–64 cm (19–25 in),[2] it is the second largest extant member of the family Rallidae, after the takahe, and adults are considered functionally flightless.[3] It is the only coot with reddish legs.[2] It has a small white frontal shield. An adult male weighed 2.7 kg (6.0 lb) while three adult females weighed 2.03–2.4 kg (4.5–5.3 lb).[4]


As in the related horned coot, the giant coot is monogamous and the pair builds a huge nest in a highland lake. However, unlike the horned coot, the nest of the giant coot is primarily made of aquatic vegetation and – as it is fiercely territorial – it never forms colonies.[3]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Fulica gigantea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Jaramillo, A. Burke, P., & Beadle, D. (2003). Birds of Chile. Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4688-8
  3. ^ a b Taylor, P. B. (1996). Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea). pp. 209 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (1996). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Hoatzins to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-20-2
  4. ^ Taylor, Barry, Rails: A Guide to the Rails, Crakes, Gallinules and Coots of the World. Yale University Press (1998), ISBN 978-0-300-07758-2.