Results from banding Eurasian Coots in Victoria, 1953-1977.

Results obtained during banding of Eurasian Coot Fulica atra in Victoria (3,177), South Australia (413) and New South Wales (32) between 1953 and 1977 are summarised, as are details of subsequent recoveries.  Coots on the lake system of the Serendip Wildlife Research Station, Victoria (where trapping was more regular) were also counted between September 1969 and October 1977.  Trap totals were higher in October, and between March and June.  Only 65 coots banded in Victoria have been recovered, 45 at the original banding site.  The average distance travelled by the other 20 birds was 295 km (± SD 230) and only four coot moved more than 500 km.  Distant recoveries were usually on or near coastal wetlands.  Recoveries (2% of banded birds) were usually made within a year of banding and, though 50% were found dead, few (5.6%) were reported as shot.  Mean weights of birds caught at Serendip increased between June and November.  Counts made there were variable (maximum in May), but the numbers were not related to water-level or recent rainfall.  Presumably coot, which use some wetlands as non-breeding habitat, disperse there in response to local conditions elsewhere.

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