Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera)


French: Foulque leucoptère German: Weißflügel-Blässhuhn Spanish: Focha aliblanca

Fulica leucoptera


, 1817,



Closely related to F. cristata, F. atra, F. alai, F. americana and F. ardesiaca. Monotypic.


Chile, E & SE Bolivia, Paraguay and extreme SE Brazil S through Uruguay and Argentina to Tierra del Fuego.

Descriptive notes

35–43 cm; 5 females 400–500 and 607 g. Darker than F. americana on body; distinguished from congeners by yellow to greenish yellow bill, occasionally... read more


Vocal, with variety of loud, hollow cackling calls and clucking notes; some calls resemble peals of... read more


Freshwater lagoons, river backwaters, ponds and marshes; prefers grassy or vegetation-free shores,... read more

Food and feeding

Eats mostly aquatic weeds. Chiefly a surface feeder, but dives occasionally; pecks at surface and upends frequently. Also grazes on land... read more


Lowlands of C Argentina, mainly Apr–Nov; uplands, Nov–Jan; season very prolonged in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where species... read more


Present all year in Rio Grande do Sul but makes considerable local movements, with most or all... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly regarded as widespread, and common to locally abundant; recorded in flocks of thousands on large marshy lagoons of Argentine... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera). 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).