This Squacco Heron has been around for a while now. I photographed it previously and saw that is was missing its hind facing claw on the left leg. The other day I saw and photographed the same bird again. Looking closer I can now see what looks like a healed break / bent leg below the left leg joint. In addition, what is meant to be the rear facing claw, is actually folded under and faces forward and the claw points upwards.
In the image taken a while ago, it looks like the rear claw is missing on the left leg. I did not notice the mended break/bend in the left leg at first, but it is visible
Here the mended break/bend in the left leg below the joint is also visible, as well as the rear claw that is folded under and faces forward
Where is this all leading to, you may ask? Well this all works to the bird's advantage when it has the need to scratch
Here is an image taken back in February. Both of the rear facing claws are visible. This bird was able to defy gravity and lean forward and down to spear dragonflies that were hovering just above the water