The red in question is a small area at the top of the white bill.  It is not very obvious except at very short range or if you look for it carefully.  The illustrations in Sibley show both variations.
David Becher 
St. Louis 


Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Deepa Mohan <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 11/14/16 9:17 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: question about coots - no sighting

Hi Kathleen,

I,too,have never seen a "red shield" on an American Coot to date, so I
agree entirely with you! (Neither have I ever seen a red shield on a
Eurasian Coot, or whatever you call Coots in my country...here we just
call it the Common Coot.)

I have similar issues with eBird in India, too, and the recent
"splitting" of species and re-naming means that my sightings from even
2012 are coming up for "scrutiny". My response is....I make lists
*mainly* because I cannot remember what I saw, at a later time....so
if you (from eBird) are going to invalidate my sighting, please go
ahead!

Many of us who want to keep birding at the level of a serious hobby,
without "going scientific"seem to face these issues too.

This is quite apart from the "numbers" birders who find an opportunity
to up their "life lists" every time there is a "split"!

Just a line to tell all you Miss-ing birders that we are having the
first "eBirders meet" in Bangalore, India,on Nov. 19th. Looking
forward to this...my entire birding group (my friends, whom I have
dubbed UGS....Usual Gang of Suspects) is attending!

Cheers,

Deepa.



On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 7:51 AM, Kathleen Anderson
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Since I have never noticed the "red shield" on a coot, to see that I would
> apparently have to put a scope on every coot I observe to see if I can see
> any red or not.  I don't think I am going to do that, so mine will just get
> entered in ebird as "American Coot".
>  It doesn't seem right to me that ebird would enter all coots in MO as "red
> shielded".  I guess you are indicating that most in MO have a red shield.
> Kathleen Anderson, Columbia
>
> ________________________________
> From: "Robert Jacobs" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Monday, November 14, 2016 7:50:33 AM
> Subject: Re: question about coots - no sighting
>
> Kathleen,
> The latest American Ornithologist Union (AOU)  2016 supplement says that the
> American Coot with both red and whitish shields and the Caribbean Coot with
> the white shield are just color morphs of the same species. So, if you see a
> coot with a red upper shield you could list it under red-shielded, but
> apparently a small  percentage of the American coots have white shields
> similar to the Caribbean Coot which up to now was thought to be a different
> species. I am not sure if eBird is hoping to shed light on the distribution
> of the two color  morphs to see if there is any distributional difference.
>
> If you want to go to the source discussion copy and paste the following and
> look under Proposal 2016 A - 9.
> http://checklist.aou.org/nacc/proposals/current_proposals.html
>
>
> Brad Jacobs
>
>
>
> On Sun, Nov 13, 2016 at 8:23 PM, Kathleen Anderson
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> I've noticed in ebird that in the uploaded lists from Cache/Sparks the
>> coot is listed as "Red-shielded".   Is that correct?   I just list Coots as
>> "American Coots".
>> Kathleen Anderson
>> Columbia
>>
>> ________________________________
>> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
>> Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners
>>
>> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
>>
>> ASM Spring Meeting: May 5-7, 2017 in Springfield, MO Details and Online
>> Registration
>
>
> ________________________________
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners
>
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
>
> ASM Spring Meeting: May 5-7, 2017 in Springfield, MO Details and Online
> Registration
>
>
> ________________________________
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners
>
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
>
> ASM Spring Meeting: May 5-7, 2017 in Springfield, MO Details and Online
> Registration

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ABA Birding Code of Ethics
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners

ABA Birding Code of Ethics

ASM Spring Meeting: May 5-7, 2017 in Springfield, MO Details and Online Registration