Let's start with their behavior. They always seem to be delighted, gleefully darting around in the water as if they just learned to swim, and they couldn't be more excited about their newfound abilities.
Next, take a look at their feet. They're huge! And green! And the toes are freakishly long. The feet are not webbed like a duck's foot, but each toe has big flaps of skin that help propel it through the water. Those flaps fold up when the Coot is on land so it can move more quickly on land than a duck can.
They have a white bill that goes up to the forehead, turns dark reddish near the top of the head, but it's banded in charcoal at the tip. Those round, red eyes would look menacing if it weren't for the friendly nature of the bird.
They can be found across much of the U.S. (depending on the season), often mixed in with other waterfowl. In the water, just look for a floating, black bowling ball with a bright, white bill. On land, look for a black chicken that's using enormous, green feet that it borrowed from a heron.
Need a smile? Go find a Coot and watch its antics for a little while!