Head and body length: 38 - 39 cm, wingspan: approx. 65 cm
Approx. 500 g
Estimated at 2,000 - 4,000
Streams, marshes, ponds and other bodies of water on the Hawaiian Islands, primarily Kauai, Oahu and Maui
Why settle for waterfront? The Hawaiian coot goes one step further, building nests directly on the water. These floating masses of vegetation are large—60 centimeters in diameter—and provide access to a menu of aquatic plants, tadpoles and small fish. Females lay four to ten eggs, which both parents incubate. They defend their nest vigorously, but if predators do destroy the nest or take their eggs the pair may simply re-nest. The coot needs to be persistent and adaptable to survive, given that so much of its habitat has been drained or otherwise altered. But facing a host of introduced predators as well as habitat loss, its home on the water is under seige.