|Foulque, Phulica, Ulica
An intelligent bird that stays in one place
The coot is an intelligent bird; unlike other birds it does not fly about, but stays in one place. It eats fish, but does not eat dead bodies. It builds its nest in the middle of water or on a stone surrounded by water. When it sees a storm coming it returns to its nest or dives under the water.
The coot represents the man who lives according to God's will and remains within the Church, rather than straying down the path of heresy or following worldly pleasures .
A common illustration shows the coot as a long-necked bird reaching back to bite its own wing. The meaning of this is unclear, but the near identical images found in several manuscripts suggest a common origin. Most coots are depicted as birds of various shapes and sizes, usually in profile view., perched on the ground; only a few illustrations show the coot swimming or nesting on water or eating fish.