Young birds are arriving every day. They come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them are extremely colourful too.

The baby coot was found on its back, floating round in circles. There was no sign of parents, so maybe the chick had been taken by predators and dropped.

How lucky that someone spotted the baby and brought him to Hessilhead.

We knew the coot would be tricky to rear. Although newly hatched coot can enter  the water soon after hatching, and eat live food, they stay close to their parents, and frequently snuggle up beneath mum, drying off and keeping warm among her feathers.

Our chick was put into a brooder and as soon as I offered him a newly moulted mealworm, he snatched it, juggled it in his beak, and swallowed.

He repeated this trick twice, then turned away.

We hadn’t expected it to be so easy to persuade the coot to take food. We think the secret is that the newly moulted mealworms are white.

Coot chicks are offered small items of food by their parents. The food is held in the parent’s white beak.

Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue

Our coot is still living in a heated cage and has learnt to pick up food for himself.

We are providing a mixed diet including chick crumbs and finch rearing food, insectivorous bird food and of course mealworms.

It would be good if another coot chick came into care. All species do better if reared with others of their kind.