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Great blue heron

Ardea herodias


Large wading bird foraging in a marsh. In the second pic he is trying to pluck a leaf out of the corner of his eye with its claws or more specifically its pectinate toe. Pectinate toes are a special adaption that many long necked birds like herons have. A pectinate toe is usually the longest forward facing toe on a bird's foot, and can be found on one or both feet. This toe has a special toenail with serration or ridges on the inner edge that closely resemble a comb. The comb is thought to help with preening, cleaning and straightening feathers, removing feather sheaths, and helping to keep the bird aerodynamic.


Spotted at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.

No species ID suggestions

Washington, USA

Lat: 47.08, Long: -122.72

Spotted on Mar 17, 2019
Submitted on Mar 24, 2019

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