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What am I?

I am medium sized bird that spends a lot of time around water, but I’m not a duck! I like to swim around in ponds and rivers, hanging out with mallards.

Where do I come from?

I live on the Solent coast all year round.

A bit about me

I am a dark-coloured bird with brown and bluey-black feathers, a small red and yellow beak and long, yellow legs. I love to eat lots of different things, including water plants, seeds, grasses, fruit, insects, snails, worms, and small fish. You can find me in many ponds, rivers, lakes, and streams and I don’t mind living in the city either. As long as there’s food and some vegetation to hide in I’m happy! I make large, messy nests on the water and defend them ferociously with my partner.

Local spotlight

I am common across the Solent.

Conservation status

I’m green listed in the UK

My name might not be listed in the Solent’s Special Protection Areas but I am still definitely important for the coastal ecosystem and form part of the waterbird assemblages which these regions are protected for.

Fun fact

I’m known by many names around the world, including marsh hen, common gallinule, and my personal favourite – skitty coot!