Is this num­ber of Coot ju­ve­niles that I saw a record?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QThis pair of Coots at Lamby Lake, Cardiff, have eight well-grown young. In my time as a birder I have never seen this many ju­ve­niles in one fam­ily. Do you think this is some kind of a record? Al­lan Dow­son

ALike you, we thought this was rather un­usual, but in fact the aver­age size of a Coot’s clutch is 6-10 eggs. What is un­usual, per­haps, is that so many have sur­vived to this stage of their devel­op­ment (and you men­tion that you re­turned later and that all eight were still present). In the nor­mal course of things, un­for­tu­nately, you’d ex­pect sev­eral to be lost to preda­tors at an early stage. The prob­lem for this fam­ily, as the year goes on, will be for the eight young birds to find enough food.

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