A mere curiosity

I had found the odd detail in the image that I’m about to show you some time back, and put it in the blog folder for the slow period, but so far hadn’t gotten to it. Now that it’s getting more springlike out there, I should be able to find current photo subjects, but it’s kinda grey at the moment, so we’ll go ahead and feature it – you know, to prove that my previous post was no joke.

Anyway, back in October of last year when I took these, I posted a frame very similar to this one, of a great egret (Ardea alba) perched in a tree.

great egret Ardea alba perched in tree
This is full-frame with the long lens, but the egret was being fairly cooperative, making our cautious approach seem almost silly – better safe than sorry, however, and the slow stalking that we did shouldn’t ever be considered wasted effort. It was when I was examining the resulting photos at full resolution for critical sharpness that I saw the little detail, and realized how odd it looked:

same image showing eye detail
I’ve got more than enough bird photos (not true – there’s never enough,) and don’t think I’ve ever seen an eye quite this displaced. Most birds have eyes on the sides of their head but a very narrow and tapered beak/face, so they have two kinds of vision: the split, both-sides-at-once kind that allows them to see a huge amount of their surroundings, and the two-eyes-focused-on-same-subject kind that permits depth perception directly in front so they can hunt accurately. To that end, the eyes do have some ability to swivel in their sockets, but typically, we see only the barest hint of it and mostly just find the pupil pretty much centered in the eye. Well, okay, it always is, but you know what I mean.

I see this and find it just looks wrong, a bit unhinged. I’ma have to ‘shop it back into place…

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