Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea)


French: Foulque géante German: Riesenblässhuhn Spanish: Focha gigante

Fulcia [sic] gigantea

Eydoux and Souleyet

, 1841,





S Peru through W Bolivia to N Chile and NW Argentina (Laguna de Antofagasta, in Catamarca)#R.

Descriptive notes

48–59 cm; c. 2000–2500 g. Adult deep slaty, inclining to black on head and neck; variable white streaking on lateral undertail-coverts; very heavy-bodied with... read more


Male gives alternating gobbling or laughing “houehouhouhouhoou” and low, growling “hrr” or “horr”... read more


Ponds and lakes in barren highlands of Andean puna zone; most numerous on lakes with... read more

Food and feeding

Vegetarian: takes much aquatic vegetation, especially Myriophyllum, Potamogeton, Zanichellia, Ruppia;... read more


Breeds at any season but laying peaks in local winter, Jun–Jul, often with second clutch Nov–Feb. Monogamous and permanently... read more


Immatures disperse widely by flying at night but adults normally attached to territory and nest for... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Scarce through most of range, but large populations exist in some areas, including c. 12,000 in Lauca National Park, N Chile.... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea). 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 19 January 2020).