I am an American Coot. I have glossy Black feathers, pointed White bill, Red eyes, White on my under tail and noticeable large greenish lobed-feet. I live at the inner city Houston Northwest Greenspoint Lake. About six (6) months ago, I found myself in the midst of breeding Black-bellied Whistling ducks at the Northwest Lake in Greenspoint, Houston. How I got to where I am, I know not. Anyway, I was the youngest water bird at the Lake, and I did not know whose I was or which group of water birds I might be relative of. I approached a pair of Black-bellied Whistling ducks with seven (7) immature ducks and I was immediately chased away. I also tried approaching a second breeding pair of Black-bellied Whistling ducks, then a third, and then a fourth, and they all chased me away. A group of four (4) Black-bellied Whistling duck juveniles, obviously noting my situation and having compassion on me, adopted me. But as soon as the group of kind juveniles adopted me to keep me company and protect me from the Buzzards overhead, the kind Black-bellied Whistling duck juveniles were attacked by others Black-bellied Whistling ducks and chased away from the Lake. I was just few weeks old, had no flight feathers and thus could not follow my Black-bellied Whistling duck juvenile friends in flight. I immediately started learning to fend for myself in the midst of critters that wanted me not or wanted me for food. Days later, I noted that the Herons, Egrets and Plovers at the Lake were not bothered by my presence and did not seem to mind having me follow them during their feeding rounds on the edges of the Lake. I followed the Herons, Egrets and Plovers and learned to survive on whatever they survived on. Whenever my Black-bellied Whistling duck juvenile friends returned to the lake, they sought for me and kept me company until they were chased away by other Black-bellied Whistling ducks. I soon recognized my friends and would immediately approach them as soon as they came to the Lake, though often mingling for just seconds at a time. I sought company wherever I found it, learned to feed and to protect myself against birds of prey. For some reason, the rest of the Black-bellied Whistling ducks at the Lake did not want the friendly Black-bellied Whistling duck juveniles to befriend me. I followed my Black-bellied Whistling juvenile friends, Herons, Egrets and Plovers whenever they were at the Lake for company and some protection. And when none of them were present, I simply stayed in hiding in the overgrown grasses at the Lake. By mid-November 2011, all the Black-bellied Whistling ducks were gone, and so were the Herons, Egrets and Plovers. I was thereafter often alone at the Lake, and I had to learn to be vigilant to avoid been a meal to a nutty pussycat that would stop by the Lake occasionally and to other critters lurking around the Lake. When it got cold in December 2011 and in January 2012, I hid inside the drainage at the Lake for some protection from the cold, seeing my feathers were not yet mature to provide me with comfort (and thank God we had just few cold nights and days in Houston thus far!). I am now grown with glossy Black feathers, pointed White bill, Red eyes, White on my under tail and noticeable large greenish lobed feet; features unlike that of my Black-bellied Whistling duck friends! I am alive and doing okay, but cannot wait for the return of my Black-bellied Whistling duck juvenile friends. I am aware that my Black-bellied Whistling duck friends would now be mature birds and they may not recognize me. I love my home, though I have never met anyone like me yet.