In the last two years, on different lakes, we have seen hundreds of coots gathering on the lake. This year we saw them on Leech Lake. I kid you not there were hundreds of them. We have seen them gather on the river as well as on smaller likes.
Of all the groups we have seen, the coot seems to have the most conspicuous displays. They defend their breeding and feeding territories by charging at other birds and running across the water. In courtship, the male may chase females with flapping wings or swim with head and neck held close to the water, wing tips raised, and tail lifted. which displays white patches. They may build nine nests before choosing one OR they may take another coot's nest.
How do they eat? Dip and dive like a duck. Yet, you know them mostly by the way they move their heads back and forth as they paddle in the water.
Their sound is like a tiny toy trumpet.
Look for the beak, it is chicken-like rather than duck like.