Ever seen a bird pull this stunt? This kingfisher seems to have draped a filmy layer over its eye.
Many birds and mammals have a third eyelid. Referred to as the nictitating membrane, it designed for lubrication of the eye and protection from injury. The nictitating membrane is a feature of the eye that you may miss in a bird unless you look very closely. It is translucent and slides tightly over the eye occasionally, as in the case of this White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) like a flicking tongue moistening dry lips. However brief the moment, the membrane being translucent ensures that the bird’s vision is uninterrupted.
You might call it a Meluha moment, this blinking of the third eyelid.
- How looking out of the window saved my sanity – a quarantine birdwatching tale - December 28, 2020
- Stargazing on the Appalachian Trail - October 20, 2020
- Comet watching : Neowise aka C/2020 F3 - July 14, 2020