I can still remember (only because it’s not too long ago) thinking the first time I took a picture of an American Coot that it sure was one ugly duck.
Turns out I was wrong on a number of counts. First, it isn’t a duck at all. It belongs to the Rail family. Of course, I didn’t know then there was a “rail” family way back then. In fact, a little web browsing revealed just how ignorant I am of that family I still am.
More importantly, the more I’ve observed Coots the more beautiful they seem . Perhaps I started switching to that view when I watched them lovingly caring for their chicks last summer.
The more I photograph and learn about them, the more I’m convinced they have a strange beauty about them. It wasn’t until I took this photograph last week that I’d noticed their remarkably strange, even beautiful, feet.