Horned Coot Fulica cornuta

Chilean name: Tagua cornuda
Horned Coot, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image Laguna Miñiques, Chile
January 2007

The Horned Coot is distributed in northern Chile, south-west Bolivia and north-west Argentina. It is found on high altitude lakes with submerged vegetation and is usually at between 3,000m and 5,200m above sea level.

It is classified as Near Threatened by Birdlife International.

It is a very large, black coot with a bright yellow bill. In place of a frontal shield, it has a large black proboscis. It's legs are olive green.

Horned Coot, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image They construct a mound underwater on which they then build a nest and the nesting sites are usually in lakes with little or no fluctuation in surface level. These photos were all taken at Laguna Miñiques, near San Pedro de Atacama which lies at 4,110m and is fed by an underground channel from the neighbouring Laguna Miscanti.
Horned Coot, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image Laguna Miñiques is probably the easiest place to see Horned Coot but the path beside the lake is closed from July to December to protect the birds while they are breeding.

I managed to record a couple of calls which you can hear here.

Horned Coot, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image
Horned Coot, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image
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