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Coots are medium-sized water birds which are members of the Rallidae family. They constitute the genus Fulica. Coots have predominantly black plumage, and they are usually easy to see, often swimming in open water. The greatest species variety is in South America, and it is likely that the genus originated here. They have prominent frontal shields on the forehead, and colored bills. Coots can walk and run vigorously, and have long, lobed toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. These birds are omnivorous, taking mainly plant material, but also small animals and eggs. They are aggressively territorial during the breeding season, but are otherwise often found in sizeable flocks on the shallow vegetated lakes they prefer. The Red-garted coot has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 2,600,000 km2. It is found in Uruguay, southern Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Argentina, and is a vagrant to Bolivia and the Falkland Islands. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘common’ in at least parts of its range.
Las gallaretas son aves acuáticas de porte mediano, miembros de la familia de los Rálidos. Todas constituyen el género Fulica. Poseen plumage predominantemente negro y son fáciles de ver; usualmente nadando en aguas abiertas. La variedad de especies se da en Sudamérica, por lo que se presume que el género se originó aquí. Cuentan con placas frontales y picos coloridos. Estas aves pueden caminar e incluso correr vigorosamente y sus patas lobuladas están bien adaptadas a terrenos blandos y superficies irregulares. Son omnívoras, alimentándose principalmente de plantas pero también de pequeños animales y huevos. Son agresivamente territoriales durante la época de la crianza, aunque se congregan en grupos numerosos en los estanques llanos que suelen preferir. La Gallareta ligas rojas tiene un amplio habitat y se estima que alcanza los 2,600,000 km2. Se la halla en Uruguay, sur de Brazil, Chile, Paraguay y Argentina, visitando ocasionalmente Bolivia y las islas Malvinas. La población global no ha sido cuantificada, pero se cree que es abundante dado el número de individuos en ciertas partes de su área de distribución.

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