[Tropicbirds] Red-throated Loon - feather damage

I'm not convinced that there is an injury to the foot. I think you are seeing a pink web which may look like an injury but is actually colour. Compare the web on this bird (admittedly a different species but I think it shows what I am trying to suggest).

Loons have such short legs that they can't properly 'walk' on land, and usually only push themselves forwards. I think the photos you are linking to just show the bird in the process of moving, with the feet pushing the bird. Compare this bird:

This is not to say that there is no damage - the loss of feathers behind the leg seems unusual - just that I am not sure that these photos show there is an injury to the foot.

I'd like to take the opportunity to stress that people should avoid disturbing this bird if it does come back onto land (I understand access to this beach isn't easy and the bird wasn't disturbed for these photos).

[ Last edited by ajohn at 20/03/2016 20:43 ]