Sources : Coot

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:53): The coot [fulica] is so named because its flesh tastes of hare; now [the Greek word lagos] means “hare”, whence this bird is also called by the Greeks. It is a marsh bird, having its nest in the middle of the water or on rocks surrounded by water; it is always attracted to the deep seas. When it senses a storm approaching, the coot flees into the shallows and dallies there. - [Barney, Lewis, et. al. translation]

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Birds 5.46): The coot, as Isidore says, is a bird whose flesh tastes like the flesh of a hare. Living around ponds, it has a nest in the middle of the water, or in rocks surrounded by water. It delights in the deep. For as long as it feels the storm, it plays in the deep. This bird is said to be the most intelligent and wisest of all birds. It does not feed on dead bodies. It dwells in no different places or wanders, but in one place it keeps itself quiet until the end of its life. It gathers its food from around it. Ambrose tells of the coot, that this honorable and kind bird feeds and nurtures with her chicks the chicks thrown out of the eagle's nest [also said of the kim and the vulture], setting an example to reasonable people, how much they should be moved with piety towards strangers and the poor and afflicted. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]

Bodleian Library, MS. Bodley 764, folio 61r): There is a bird called the coot, which the Greeks call fene, which takes up the rejected chicks of the eagle, which the eagle will not acknowledge, and brings them up with its own young, looking after them with the same motherly devotion as its own brood, nurturing them in exactly the same way. - [Barber translation]

Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (Liber de proprietatibus rerum, Book12.25): The Coote is called Mergulus [but only by Bartholomaeus], & hath that name of oft dopping and plunging. For by oft putting downe his head into the water, and dopping there under, hee sheweth signes and tokens of weathers: and before the comming of tempests of the Sea, he flyeth crieng to the shoare. For it betokeneth most certeinly full strong tempest in the Sea, if Cootes flie crieng to the shore, as Isidore sayth. The Coot maketh her neast close by the root of reeds upon few stickes, & féedeth & nourisheth her birds with wonderfull affection and love of kinde: And anone as they be hatcht, they follow the dam, and dread not to flie up and down on divers waves of the sea, & they hunt and gather water wormes, & fish to fill their wombs with. In winter for scarcitie of moving, they be fat: & in Summer for fréedome of flight they be poore of flesh and in fatnesse. And when they be pursued with ravishing birds, then they flie to water, & be delivered by manner of plunging and of diving. - [Batman]