Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lock up your gold fish

Doesn't this osprey look demonic?

I haven't done any digital manipulating of his eyes (this is the male of the UVic nest). It may be that he's got the old third membrane drawn.

In osprey, and other birds that dive head first into the water, a special nictating membrane protects the eye from those high impacts.

Also called the haw, this slider moves across the eye horizontally unlike human eyelids. It can be clear or transluscent. Some animals, like camels, use it to remove debris from the eye. Polar bears get protection from snow blindness from the nictating membrane.

I heard a story about the UVic osprey grabbing overgrown goldfish from garden ponds. Probably didn't need the old eye protector on that dive.

1 comment:

aka Penelope said...

The osprey’s horizontal slider is a great protective feature I wouldn’t mind having myself. He does look a little scary though. Also enjoying your photography tips and hoping to see more in future. I agree with the earlier comment about passion being a key to photography. Even when technique is lacking we are so fortunate in this digital age to be able to snap a hundred pictures in search of one that is special.