Hawaiian Coot
('Alae Ke'oke'o - 5,000)

The Hawaiian Coot is a dark grey bird which from a distance looks black with a large bulbous white frontal shield. Their legs are dull green. They are present from sea level to 500 feet elevation where there is suitable water. They disperse and congregate in winter or summer in large flocks in different lowland wetland areas, otherwise rarely fly, with a breeding season from March through September laying 4-10 eggs. It appears that coots on Kaua'i are choosing sites where there are already sizable numbers of other coots as they are more social and are comfortable being part of a large gathering. We have seen over 80 coots on Kalihiwai Reservoir during the past 2011 early summer season congregation. Coots exclusively use floating nests so it is even harder on them when our water level goes down. They use our jungle covered inlets to build their nests on water so when these inlets dry up and become unstable their nests are also jeopardized. Since they eat tadpoles and small fish, aquatic plants and insects their food source equally becomes sensitive to fluctuating water levels.