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Black Wpeckers with tears in their eyes ?

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Old Friday 2nd July 2010, 19:02   #1
den mather
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Black Wpeckers with tears in their eyes ?

Anyone know if there are any studies explaining why Black Woodpeckers seem to have tear/arrow shaped pupils? We saw loads around the house this Easter and managed some good close views and it was clear at least sometimes that the pupils were quite different to the other local Wpeckers we managed close views of.
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Old Sunday 4th July 2010, 08:47   #2
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Originally Posted by den mather View Post
Anyone know if there are any studies explaining why Black Woodpeckers seem to have tear/arrow shaped pupils? We saw loads around the house this Easter and managed some good close views and it was clear at least sometimes that the pupils were quite different to the other local Wpeckers we managed close views of.
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Perhaps they weren't Black woodpeckers. Where is your house?
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Old Sunday 4th July 2010, 09:34   #3
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Perhaps they weren't Black woodpeckers. Where is your house?
I believe Den has a house in the Czech Republic too. Can't say I've ever noticed the eye shape on them - I only ever see them flying off and away.
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Old Sunday 4th July 2010, 09:41   #4
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I believe Den has a house in the Czech Republic too. Can't say I've ever noticed the eye shape on them - I only ever see them flying off and away.
Ah, thanks.

I've never been close enough to look them in the eyes, either. Fleeting glimpses in Latvia has been my only experience of these beauties.
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Old Sunday 4th July 2010, 13:21   #5
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I'm the one with tears in my eyes when it comes to Black Woodies......
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Old Sunday 4th July 2010, 13:34   #6
delia todd
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Like this one : http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...p?photo=200866

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Old Sunday 4th July 2010, 17:22   #7
ed keeble
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How intriguing- it is shown and commented on here (scroll down to head shot): I wonder if it is a spot of dark pigment on the front edge of the pupil, rather than actual pupil shape?

http://www.sakertour.com/hidegallery.php?hide=24

[edit: just had a peek in BWP: tis indeed a black spot on the iris]
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Old Tuesday 6th July 2010, 13:50   #8
den mather
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Thanks all for replying. We got a farmhouse in Sumava (1 and 1/2 hours south of Prague in CZ Rep) when the Russians were leaving and as said in vacation reports (Sumava April 8 - 25) we spent a morning looking for them round the house and found at least 4 territories in 2 hours! Having driven for hours to see them in previous years. Time of year and CD player made it ridiculously easy to get them next to the car. The strange pupil then became easy to spot on 2 or 3 of them and we wondered if they were a local aberration. Thank you for perfect photo link Delia and for explanation Ed. I'm not sure of connection between iris and pupil so will look it up. Delay in replying due to travelling to said house where I'm now off out to see if Monty Harriers and Grt Grey Shrike are still about and with young (Monty had just arrived as we left in april and GG shr hadn't appeared).
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PS I was going to ask US members if their big woodies had similar pupils to our Blackies.
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