Most bird feet are anisodactyl, meaning they have three toes facing forward with one strong toe (hallux)/thumb connected to the achilles tendon (equivalent) in the back.
|Here we have the foot of a green heron. The knuckles are sticky and beady to help grip on slippery rocks.|
|I was really surprised at how off-center the thumbs/hallux were on the bird. I haven't been able to have this view of song bird feet so I can't compare, but I assume theirs line up more so with the middle toe.|
|The backs of a Cactus Wren's feet. Their halluces (rear toe, equivalent of the big toe on a human foot) are almost as long as the frontal toes, with heavier scaling above and a rough, grippy skin below.|
|These European Starling feet are kinda creepy. They seem much more alien than other bird feet. The Starling is an invasive species after all...perhaps from another world?|
|Guess who's lovely leg this is!?|
|Raptor claws! Although this Elf Owl isn't tackling big game, his bristly talons will still help him seize lizards, insects, and maybe even a small mouse (for Thanksgiving)!|