Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Andean Coot (Fulica ardesiaca)


French: Foulque ardoisée German: Andenblässhuhn Spanish: Focha andina
Other common names: Slate-colored Coot

Fulica ardesiaca


, 1843,

Lake Junín, Peru


Closely related to F. cristata, F. atra, F. alai, F. americana and F. leucoptera. Chestnut-fronted and white-fronted birds formerly treated as separate species, F. americana peruviana and F. ardesiaca, and later lumped as F. americana ardesiaca; subsequently treated as a full species, differing from americana mainly in morphology and plumage (especially pattern of undertail-coverts#R). Form peruviana is synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. a. atrura Fjeldså, 1983 – Andes of S Colombia and Ecuador and coastal Peru.
  • F. a. ardesiaca Tschudi, 1843 – Andes of interior Peru, C & W Bolivia, N Chile and NW Argentina.
  • Descriptive notes

    40–43 cm. Stocky coot with large, rounded frontal shield giving round head shape; secondaries usually have white tips; undertail-coverts white to almost black; iris red... read more


    Usual call a low “churr” or harder “hrrp”, often repeated. Females give low chitter.


    Ponds, lakes, rivers and marshes. Mostly in fairly large lakes with extensive shallows having dense... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly aquatic vegetation, especially Chara, but also Myriophyllum and Elodea. Feeds in areas of shallow water... read more


    Poorly known; breeding behaviour apparently close to that of F. americana. Colombia, Feb; N Chile, Nov–Jan; Peru, Apr and... read more


    Seasonal population movements occur, not properly described.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). No precise data available, but species is locally common to abundant, sometimes assembling in thousands.

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Andean Coot (Fulica ardesiaca). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 30 March 2020).