Mystery eyes

Bird photography gives us the opportunity to see birds in the kind of detail that is impossible in the field unless the bird is in our hand, stressed or injured (or worse). Today’s post is about mystery eyeballs. Can you recognise which bird they belong to or see any reflections?



Mystery eyeball 1

 Withering look

Mystery eyeball 2



Mystery eyeball 3



201310261337_6191_Mystery eyeball 4



Young King ParrotMystery eyeball 5



Australian Wood Duck - Kim WormaldMystery eyeball 6



201408031042_2388_Mystery eyeball 7



Eye-catchingMystery eyeball 8


The colours and surrounds of birds’ eyeballs are remarkable in their diversity. Identification guesses are welcome, I’ll post the species next week.

By the way, this week’s post was inspired by Fiona who prepares bird specimens for research and who recently sliced her thumb when sorting through glass eyeballs.

Happy birding and keep away from glass eyeballs, Kim


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36 comments to Mystery eyes

  • Mary Goodall

    I really like the pelican eyeball as a kind of semi-abstract composition. If it were cropped even tighter it could be quite intriguing.

    • lirralirra

      I’d have to get a closer shot as that one is cropped pretty heavily and there aren’t many pixels to spare. I’ll try to do that, thanks for the suggestion.

  • Mary Goodall

    This is a very clever quiz Kimberley. Sadly I’m not good enough at bird identification to complete the list. I can identify
    Pacific Gull
    Haven’t a clue about the others, sorry.

    • lirralirra

      I don’t think I’d have been good enough to complete the quiz if I hadn’t taken the shots! Good on you for having a go, and for prompting me to research Pacific Gull eyeballs. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Bec

    1 – Emu
    2 – Bush stone curlew
    3 – Currawong
    4 – Silver gull
    5 – Australian King parrot (immature)
    6 – female Australian wood duck
    7 – Magpie
    8 – Pelican breeding colours

    Awesome pictures!

  • Tracy

    1. Emu
    2. Tawny Frogmouth
    3. currawong
    4. seagull
    5. scaly breasted lorikeet
    6. female wood duck
    7. magpie
    8. pelican

    • lirralirra

      Hi Tracy, you’ve got me checking the eyeballs of frogmouths and lorikeets! Birds’ eyes are amazing. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Tam

    I can’t even see number 2 eye ball. I think I can get all bar 3 for sure!

    • lirralirra

      Why couldn’t you see number 2, Tam? Didn’t it show on the device you were using? Can you let me know? Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Emu
    raptor (little eagle?)
    Pied Currawong

    • lirralirra

      All good Voren apart from number two, which quite a few people thought was raptor, it certainly has a very confronting stare. Congratulations on the Pied Currawong (I’m going to have to check the irises of the other currawongs now). Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Liz MacDonald

    1. Emu
    2. Stone Curlew
    3. Currawong
    4. Sea Gull
    5. Parrot of some type. Not sure what
    6. No idea
    7. Raven. May have 3 and 7 around the wrong way?
    8. Pelican

    • lirralirra

      Hi Liz, after this quiz the Australian Wood Duck at number 6 will be known as a ‘god knows what’ following Alyssa’s comment below 🙂

      You’re right with the currawong but it’s a magpie at number 7. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Leanne Kelly

    How fun! Is there a prize?!
    Ok here’s my shot
    1. Emu
    2. Bush stone curlew
    3. Blackbird
    4. Normal seagull (silver gull?)
    5. King parrot baby
    6. Mrs. Wood duck
    7. Aus magpie
    8. Is it a pelican??
    Yay! Love quizzes

    • lirralirra

      Ah, it was you that mentioned a prize! Excellent work, only the blackbird/currawong creeping in but still an HD. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver or a trip to Gluepot.

  • Vicki Brewer

    I’m not a birdie so the best I can do is Emu, Owl and Pelican.

    • lirralirra

      For a non-birder that’s good work Vicki! I’m off to check which one you may have thought was an owl … Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • 1.Emu 2.Bush Stone-curlew 3.Pied Currawong 4.Silver Gull 5.King Parrot 6.Australian Wood Duck 7.Australian Magpie 8. Australian Magpie

    • lirralirra

      I think you had a perfect score here John except that a cheeky magpie bumped the pelican from the end of your list. I’m especially impressed with the Pied Currawong as that’s the one I had to double-check myself. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Those are seriously beautiful and very fun!

  • Alyssa

    Ha ha this is awesome! I will guess: an emu, a bird of prey of some sort, a willy wagtail, a seagull, a king parrot, a god knows what, a raven and a pelican.

    The god knows what has a very clear reflection!

    • lirralirra

      Haha! I love the ‘god knows what’, I shall think of them by your name now. Ravens have white irises – you just prompted a digression that has had me researching pale irises. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver or an apple spaceship.

  • Diane

    Fantastic shots Kim. Those eyes are amazing, the details extraordinary.

    Wedge Tailed Eagle?
    Silver Gull
    Some type of parrot
    Wood Duck

    • lirralirra

      I’m glad you like the eyes Diane. The Bush Stone-curlew was number 2, a rarer species than the others and the bird that gave me the idea in the first place with its withering look. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • What a cool post! I love all the eyes.. Happy weekend!

  • Marie-Louise Schaefer

    6 could be a female Wood Duck?

  • Marie-Louise Schaefer

    I’ll have a go:
    2:Bush Thick-knee
    4:Silver Gull
    5:female King Parrot
    6:White-browed Scrub wren (?)
    7: White-winged Chough (or Magpie?)
    8: Pelican

    • lirralirra

      And what a great go it was! I’m sure I wouldn’t have done so well myself. Your second suggestion is right for numbers 6 and 7. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Esther

    1. Emu, 2. Bush stone curlew, 3.Currawong, 4 Seagull, 5. Female King Parrot, 6. Female wood duck, 7. Butcherbird or maybe Magpie? 8. Pelican

    • lirralirra

      Excellent Esther! Juvenile King Parrots look similar to females and you’re right with the magpie. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

  • Oh my. How very, very beautiful.

    The only guess I have any confidence with is that the third shot is probably an adolescent King Parrot. The red colouring coming in suggests it might be a male.

    • lirralirra

      That’s exactly right EC! You must have shared some special moments with these lovely birds. Let me know if you’d like a screensaver.

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