The photo on the left shows the dangling left foot of a snowy egret in Marina del Rey, the result of an unknown injury nearly a year ago. According to baitmaster Larry Derr, the egret has been dubbed “Limpy” by sympathetic small boaters and fishermen who frequent the live bait dock at the foot of Bali Way, where the bird pretty much rules the roost. “Having lost a foot hasn’t seemed to bother him at all,” Derr noted, regarding fierce competition among gulls, pelicans and egrets for anchovies and sardines that may be spilled during daily operations at the bait facility.
Limpy recently shed the remains of his left foot(as shown in the middle photo), leaving him with but the bare bone of his lower left leg, which he uses for support on occasion, and retracts completely when resting.
Lacking a foot hasn’t been a deterrence when competing with much larger birds, such as this great egret (right), for live anchovies and sardines that occasionally are spilled on the dock’s bait receivers during replenishment operations.