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The Eyes Have It

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. ―Martin Buber

In preparation of an upcoming post on Black-crowned Night Herons, and in honor of Halloween, I give you the lovely and brilliant red and orange glowing pumpkin stares of these lovely wetland waders. I’m always captivated by birds’ eyes, but some are especially striking….

An adult’s red glowing gaze

A juvenile’s changing orange sight

 

55 Comments Post a comment
  1. jimbey23 #

    Great shots of that reclusive little beauty. In particular, the juvenile! Identifying a youngster is difficult because of all the camouflage – streaked head and all.

    Were they really that blue? I’ve seen Black Crowns in several different colors – but they ALL have those spooky eyes. Great catch, ma’am!

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I was really happy to get as close as I did with these two guys — like you say, they’re usually quite tough to snap, and so shy, sticking close to their trees! LOVE their eyes though — such a contrast!

      October 31, 2012
  2. wow …. so nice

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks! These guys are very shy, but lovely wetland inhabitants…

      October 31, 2012
  3. saymber #

    Happy Halloween FeyGirl and thank you for sharing these awesome photos! I agree with you about their eyes – amazing color.

    October 31, 2012
    • Happy Halloween to you!! Thanks so much!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these guys as much as I did — and their glowing eyes! Always a treat. 🙂

      October 31, 2012
  4. Feygirl, these photos are indeed striking! I have yet to capture any good shots of birds – yours are amazing! Thank you for showing us nature’s gorgeous details. Happy Halloween! Sharon

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I’m *very* fortunate to be surrounded by some fascinating birds in my area, and there’s never a want for great opportunities to nab them, on our walks and hikes. Such unusual guys; love ’em all!

      Happy Halloween to you!!

      October 31, 2012
  5. Those are truly stunning!! I agree about the birds eyes. When I had my farm, I took numerous pictures just of their eyes. Simply fantastic.

    October 31, 2012
    • Exactly what I try to do, whenever possible! They’re so very different, so amazing… I love the contrast of these herons’ eyes, though. They literally glow in the wetlands, they’re so intense.

      October 31, 2012
  6. Those birds are so striking with the green and blue – the last one has green legs! Happy Halloween:)

    October 31, 2012
    • I agree… They’re masterpieces of striking contrast!

      Happy (late) Halloween to you! 🙂

      November 1, 2012
  7. Happy Halloween to you too!! Bird’s eyes are so beautiful and interesting!! Thanks for sharing this particular seasonal coloring of the night heron eyes!!

    October 31, 2012
    • Happy late Halloween! I hope you had some cute Trick-or-Treaters!!

      Such a great way of saying it — seasonal coloring — love it! 🙂

      November 1, 2012
  8. Wow! Amazing shots!

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I was thrilled to nab this normally very shy guy, away from his tree… 🙂

      November 1, 2012
  9. Steve Sutton #

    Love the first shot with the nictiating membrane caught halfway across the eye……cool shot….

    Steve

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much!

      AH! Someone was asking if there was a membrane in the first shot, and I honestly couldn’t answer…. So THANKS for that bit of education!

      November 1, 2012
  10. Nice detail in these closeups. The night heron is one of my favorite birds.

    October 31, 2012
    • Thank you! Ditto, I’ve always loved the night herons — probably because they’re one of the more reclusive birds in our wetlands…

      November 1, 2012
  11. Fantastic portraits of the BCNH! They sure do have amazing HUGE eyes! These are great pics!

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I was thrilled to nab them away from their precious roots and trees, heh… And somewhat close. They tend to be a bit shy. Love their eyes though — just brilliant!

      November 1, 2012
  12. Beautiful images! 🙂

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I was happy to grab close-ups of these usually reclusive guys. 🙂

      November 1, 2012
  13. Absolutely stunning Feygirl ! Still jealous of all the wonderful birds you get to visit. Hope you’re getting settled back into your routine. Always tough when you’ve been out of town for a bit.

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks!!! These guys are especially shy, so I was happy to get some close-ups of ’em.

      You’re right, it IS tough, especially with work and whatnot. And I’m still trying to get the PS on the machine (it’s been on-and-off), so that’s making it tough…

      November 1, 2012
  14. marialla #

    YES, INDEED, THE EYES ARE THE MIRROR TO THE SOUL. THEY ALSO SHOW HOW SMART YOU ARE OR ARE NOT AND I CAN SAY THESE BIRDS ARE SOME SMART LITTLE COOKIES!!!!

    October 31, 2012
    • Exactly! Some people don’t realize how very expressive animals can be — they scream in pain and fear, the hoot and call in excitement… And I believe their eyes are equally expressive.

      November 1, 2012
  15. Wow. Gorgeous photos! Two things struck me: the bird’s eye in the top photo…is that a membrane covering half of it? I didn’t know birds had those. Also, the quote…how animal eyes communicate so many things. Can’t wait to see how you develop this!

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much! You know, I’m unsure about the membrane — I would have to investigate that! I’ve always been drawn to animals’ eyes…. And while animals aren’t really silent (they scream in pain, hoot, call, etc.) — their eyes are equally expressive.

      November 1, 2012
    • Another commenter kindly informed me (via his nice message) that it’s actually a “nictiating membrane caught halfway across the eye” — so I learned something as well! Thanks to both of you… 🙂

      November 1, 2012
  16. Reblogged this on 2012 Spirit In Action.

    October 31, 2012
    • Thanks so much for sharing our shy but bright-eyed guys! 🙂

      November 1, 2012
  17. Wow!

    October 31, 2012
    • Such a contrast, eh? I love seeing their glow in our wetlands.

      November 1, 2012
  18. You really do have some amazing bird photos – live that first one!

    November 1, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I’m *really* fortunate to be surrounded with some amazing opportunities and models (heh) down here… Such a unique area.

      November 1, 2012
  19. I loved getting such a clear look at their eyes. Beautiful photos. Apparently a lack of seeds up north has brought a new species to my bird feeders, and I’m now seeing pine siskins.

    November 1, 2012
    • Such brilliant eyes these guys have — I love spotting them in our wetlands. 🙂

      I just looked up these pine siskins (I’ve never heard of them)… They’re lovely! Reminiscent of our palm warblers at a quick glance.

      November 1, 2012
  20. I can’t believe it – I have more photos of night herons than any other bird because they’re all over the place. They stand around on the docks, perch on lines, fill some of the trees around various pools – including one in the middle of a traffic circle! I never would have thought them shy. Even the juveniles can be found pretty easily. I do have one photo with the eyes bright and vivid, too – but nothing like these! The colors are amazing.

    I’m home now, and went with my friend tonight to see the roosting birds. There were a few egrets mixed in, but most of the birds actually were ibis. There must have been at least two hundred and maybe more, including some juveniles. They came in right at sunset, and a good photo was nearly impossible. I’m going to go down at sunrise this weekend and see if I can catch them with the sun at my back, shining onto them while they’re still in the trees.

    November 1, 2012
    • Hahah! That’s great… I was at one place — a sanctuary, actually — where they had LOTS of night herons, and they weren’t very shy either. But in the wild, they’re notoriously reclusive, sticking close to their roosting trees and to the water’s edge. These guys were close to the water’s edge, but I was able to wrangle my way to ’em….

      Ooooh, sunrise / sunset are always great times to grab them! Do you have glossy ibis too? They’re lovely. To see them roost en masse is quite a sight — there are a few rookeries in our wetlands, with hundreds of ibis (with egrets and herons mixed in). Just amazing!!

      November 2, 2012
  21. Eyes do say a lot about animals and their moods. Certainly anybody who has a dog or cat can attest to this… but to catch birds eyes in such clarity has to be rare. Great shots.

    November 2, 2012
    • Thanks so much! And I completely agree… Anyone’s who’s looked into their eyes can sense this. ANYONE! Just because they don’t speak our language means absolutely *zilch*.

      November 3, 2012
  22. Even more striking than the late Elizabeth Taylor’s violet eyes.

    November 5, 2012
    • What a FANTASTIC comparison! Just as striking, albeit from a different side of the spectrum… 🙂

      November 5, 2012
      • Yes. I know if I was in the vicinity with my camera, I’d be a real pest to that poor bird. Those eyes are something else. Of course, I’d need a close-up lense.

        November 5, 2012
      • That’s exactly what I have (a 70-300)… And I try SO hard not to be *too* stalkerish, to avoid causing them anxiety. I’m in-and-out, which is sometimes quite evident in the photos, hahah!!!

        November 6, 2012
  23. The eyes are amazing. Incredibly beautiful.

    November 5, 2012
    • They really are totally unique… Our Everglades birds have some fantastic eyes.

      November 5, 2012
  24. I don’t know how you out-do yourself every post with more and more stunning photos!! I see your posts and mutter, “Oh. Wow.” Thanks for always sharing such stunning photos.

    November 6, 2012
    • You’re so very kind!! Thanks much. I’m exceptionally lucky to be surrounded with amazing and unique critters and land — and in this case, these normally shy guys were a bit more in the open for me to capture! 🙂

      November 13, 2012
  25. narhvalur #

    Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.

    November 10, 2012
    • Thanks so much for sharing our shy but lovely heron!!

      November 13, 2012
  26. utterly stunning – pinpoint sharp

    November 10, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I got lucky with these guys, getting as close as I did… 🙂

      November 11, 2012

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