American Coots just have a funny look. And that has to come from their feet. Big, clumsy-looking, lobe-toed feet. I watched three coots walking on a log at Lake Betz last week. The coot at the end of the line got a little too close to the coot in the middle. The coot in the middle stopped, turned, and clearly threatened the clumsy follower to back off.
Hunters say coots aren’t edible. Hence, their numbers are not dwindling. Seems to be a good strategy. Taste yucky, live longer.