Bald Eagle Behavioral images

Started 1 month ago | Photos thread
dark13star Senior Member • Posts: 2,045
Re: Bald Eagle Behavioral images

Morris0 wrote:

Alan Hewitt Photo wrote:

Great work as always, Morris!
Number two for me, you've captured a behavioural shot which spikes my interest by presenting questions. This is often what I try to do. The eagle is maybe preening its facial feathers with its right talon and we can see it has closed its nictitating membrane over its left eye. I wonder if eagles (and indeed other species) have to close them both rather than independently like their eyelids. I've got lots of photographs of this behaviour but I think they are side-profile compositions.


There were a lot of gnats around and it was 98f or 37c and very humid with no breeze when I took this photo. It might have been sweet or feather oils getting into the eagles eyes or possibly it was preening (as you suggest) and/or trying to move the gnats off it's face. I've never seen a bird close just one nictitating membrane yet that dose not mean they can't.

Great shots, as usual, Morris.

Birds can indeed close just one nictitating membrane at a time, just as they can only close one eyelid. Furthermore, this membrane is often misunderstood as only a protective layer that they close when something is near the eye. It is not, it serves to moisten and clean the eye.

When I was testing the 40 FPS bursts on a sitting eagle this weekend, I got lots of shots with them closed. I only kept one and have formatted the card, but this bird is unmolested and just "blinking," since that is what nicitating means.

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