Readers’ wildlife photos

June 25, 2023 • 8:15 am

It’s Sunday, and you know what that means: a themed batch of bird photos from John Avise. Today’s theme is eyes, John’s notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

The Eyes Have It 

What the eyes have in many avian species are brightly colored irises.  The theme of this week’s post is birds found in North America whose official common names include either the word ”eye” or “eyed”, usually in reference to the color of the iris.  The state where each photograph was taken is indicated in parentheses.

Red-eyed Vireo, Vireo olivaceus (Michigan):

Another Red-eyed Vireo (Michigan):

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus (Florida):

Another White-eyed Vireo (Georgia):

Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis (Oregon race; Oregon):

Another Dark-eyed Junco, (Gray-headed race; Colorado):

Another Dark-eyed Junco (Pink-sided race; California):

Yellow-eyed Junco, Junco phaeonotus (Arizona):

Another Yellow-eyed Junco (Arizona):

Common Goldeneye drake, Bucehala clangula (California):

Common Goldeneye hen (California):

Barrow’s Goldeneye drake, Bucephala islandica (California):

Barrow’s Goldeneye hen (California):

4 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Thanks for another great series.

    I’m assuming the iris colors are adaptive? Is there some function that aids vision or are they considered another color variation like with their plumage?
    Or are iris colors not adaptive at all? Ours aren’t….are they?

  2. Good question. I don’t think anyone knows the answer for sure, but in next week’s WEIT post I’ll highlight another colorful feature of many avian eyes that at least suggests an adaptive role in non-verbal inter-bird communication and interaction. So stay tuned!

  3. Thanks, these are beautiful, and vireos are a tough quarry for the photographer.
    Before reading your post, it never occurred to me that bird eye colors are not sexually dimorphic, unlike the plumage in so many species. So I am holding my breath waiting for you to tell us about the function of eye color next week!

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