For two days there was a cooperative American Coot in the koi pond at the Lilypons Water Gardens. This bird allowed me to get closer than any other member of its' species in my memory...
Coots are interesting birds, often thought to be ducks, but they are actually members of the Rallidae family which includes crakes, coots and gallinules.
In modern times coots are not widely hunted for reasons I have never heard. I have two antique coot decoys that date from the early 1900's which would indicate that, at one time, they were considered sporting birds and table fare.
Although coots are classified as omnivorous, eating plants, arthropods, fish and other aquatic animals, I have only ever seen them eating aquatic vegetation. Perhaps, during their frequent dives, they seize and eat aquatic insects and mollusks.
If you ever have a chance to observe coot behavior I think you will find it entertaining and interesting; at least I did.