On Dec 11, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi New Zealand wrote:
The Australasian Coot were rare vagrants until the 1950's when they were confirmed as New Zealand breeders in 1958 at Lake Hayes in Central Otago. Since then their range has expanded widely and they are well established. They favour reed- bordered lakes rather than swamps frequented by other rails. At lake Virginia in Whanganui they have become tame enough to compete with ducks for bread and grain, taking food almost from the hand. Coots are thought to be capable of breeding as one year olds from August to February. Their nests are big bowls lined with rootlets and raupo in a tangle of willow roots with overhead willow cover. Floating nests have been reported. Five or seven creamy white eggs that are uniformly dark spotted and oval with distinctly contrasting blunt and pointed ends, are incubated for 22 days by both parents. The feeding behaviour of New Zealand coots suggests that they are mainly vegetarian. They are highly mobile, and extensive movements are triggered by drought or flood when they seem to travel at night to avoid aerial predators. They can sustain long flights, and can rest on land or water.