[CT Birds] AMERICAN COOT update

Dave Rosgen dave at whitememorialcc.org
Thu Dec 17 18:27:27 EST 2009

>From Dave Rosgen:
For those who are concerned about the scarcity of American Coots, here is a
little bit of information that I was able to get from a few sources. We
biologists are really worried about them. They've been declining in number
for the past 10 years, but this is the worst that we've ever seen. Bantam
Lake's high count this year is only 3! By this time in 1995 that count would
have been 300! Since mass die-offs of this species have been reported in the
past few years in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin, that could explain our
lack of coots now. Either "our" migrant Coots come from the northern plains
or the eastern population (which has always been low) suffered die-offs that
weren't reported. The USFWS never has given a definitive answer about the
dead coots in the Mississippi Valley. Several different diseases, Botulism,
and high levels of Selenium were among the things believed to have killed
these birds. We should make a point of reporting this species here and on
E-bird so that we can keep track of their numbers and distribution. If any
are found dead, the D.E.P. Wildlife Division should be notified at their
Franklin office. Their phone number is (860)-642-7239.

Dave Rosgen
Wildlife Biologist
White Memorial Conservation Center

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