Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Hawaiian Coot (Fulica alai)


French: Foulque des Hawaï German: Hawaiiblässhuhn Spanish: Focha hawaiana

Fulica alai


, 1848,

Hawaiian Islands


Sometimes regarded as a race of F. americana. Closely related to F. cristata, F. atra, F. americana, F. leucoptera and F. ardesiaca. Monotypic.


Hawaiian Is.

Descriptive notes

39 cm. Differs from F. americana in shorter wing, pale grey or bluish legs and feet, and more swollen frontal shield which extends back to crown; bill and shield... read more


Chicken-like “keck-keck” calls and other clucks and creaks.


All types of wetland, including fresh and saltwater ponds, estuaries and marshes, irrigation... read more

Food and feeding

Limited information available. Mainly vegetarian; food apparently similar to that of F. americana.


Breeds throughout year, mostly Apr–Aug. Monogamous; territorial when breeding. Nest floating, usually built among robust emergent... read more


No information; apparently wanders between islands.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Hawai'i EBA. Resident on all main Hawaiian Is from Niihau eastward, except Lanai, with stragglers reaching as far W as... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Hawaiian Coot (Fulica alai). 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 15 December 2019).