The coot has a similar pose to the halcyon, f.54v, with its head turned back, biting its wing. It is shown correctly with clawed feet.

Text Translation:

[Of the] coot.  It is a winged creature, fairly clever and very wise; it does not feed on corpses and it does not fly or wander aimlessly but stays in one place until it dies, finding both food and rest there.

Let every one of the faithful, therefore, maintain himself and live like that; let them not scurry around, straying this way and that, down different paths, as heretics do; let them not be enticed by the desires and pleasures of this world; but let them stay in one place, finding peace in in the catholic Church, where the Lord provides a dwelling-place for those who are spiritually in harmony, and there let them subsist daily on the bread of immortality, drinking the precious blood of Christ, refreshing themselves on the most sweet words of the Lord, ‘sweeter than honey and the honeycomb’ (Psalms, 19:10)

Folio 55r – the halcyon, continued. [De] fulica]; Of the coot. [De fenice]; Of the phoenix.


  1. says

    The slang use of coot (silly coot) didn’t enter the lexicon until the late 1760s, and there’s no clear etymology for it. One of those things like ‘crazy as a loon’, probably based on folktales about bird behaviour.

  2. says

    Also, in truth, coots are horrible parents, they kill most of their brood, so it seems like a slang use would be better served towards bad parents.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    Coots are quite common here, even in urban areas as long as there is a shore with nesting sites (in the reeds), but difficult to approach. They like to keep their distance.

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