A few months ago, I was sitting on a grassy hill watching a couple of Sandhill Cranes eating a snack. They came so close to me that I could barely focus my camera on them. I was amazed. As I watched, I noticed that one of the cranes had his eye partly closed. I wondered if he was sick or tired.
Last evening I posted this shot on a wildlife forum and asked the question. Was the crane sick or tired? I got a variety of responses. One person mentioned that the crane was not sick, but was using a third eyelid for protection which would be needed in such a close encounter with the grasses. Someone else mentioned that it was called a, ” nictitating membrane”.
Then another fellow thought it was a wonderful experience to be so close to wildlife, and capturing such a close image with out the cranes being scared, eyes closed or not.
I enjoyed these comments and learned something today. I hope that you did, too. Now, you know what a nictitating membrane is, incase you are like me and had never heard of this before. (I wonder where I was when the teacher was discussing nictitating membranes in class. Ha…I was obviously was not paying attention!)
The third fellow brought up an interesting thought about having a rare opportunity to be so close to nature. Yes, indeed it was. It was amazing to be part of their existence for a few short moments. It was a rare treat for sure and I learned about bird eye protection as well. How good is that!