Not as large as ducks, the American Coot (Fulica Americana) is just as adept in water and equally as common in the southwestern deserts. This photograph was made at sunrise in the waterways of the Ruby marshes at the foot of the eastern slopes of the Ruby Mountains in central Nevada. These are fun and feisty waterfowl, which are comfortable in their environment during all four seasons. The rich black feathers with brilliant crimson eyes are very distinctive. They seem to be able to distinguish between humans who are casually observing and those who would do them harm.