Baya Weaver Eye – Effect of Flash ?

I have seen other bird blink /closing their eye, eg . Steve B posting of Woodpecker, but this is my first time seeing Baya Weaver doing this.
This pictures show the nictating membranes protecting the eyes from element – wind or dust
Maybe this bird blink due to flash.
The most common evidence of flash on bird eyes are red-eye and silver-eyes effect. This is common as we photograph people in dark environment with flash. The wide pupil reflected the the light from retina, showing the gosty-red eye effect. With pre-flash and post precessing, all that effect can be cancel out.
In bird photography we normally use flash bracket to move the flash from the centre of lenses, thus minimize the effect. With Better Beamer (flash extender) that many photographer use, we can reduce the flash output to minus (-1, -2 etc). This further reduce the effect of flash on bird.
The aim of flash is just to have a minimal fill-in effect, the little the better. Sometime in the dark canopy on rain forest we have no other choice, but to have full flash as a sole source of lighting.

Baya Weaver
Male Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus)
Baya Weaver eyeBaya Weaver eye

Both photos was fired in quick succession (6fps).
The right and (closed-up below) was photographed with fill in flash.
The left and (closed-up above) – no flash.

Closed Eye Baya Weaver


  1. That is an amazing bird. I have never seen one like this before. Thank you very much for sharing it with us and for the very interesting info on flash photoraphy.

  2. This is interesting and the note is new to me. I am not sure if I am aware of the blinking bird but I have seen red eyes before.Thanks and have a nice day!

  3. Thanks for the tips (and mention). I\’ve been using my camera\’s mounted flash for supplemental lighting for emergency situations. I always get a blue reflection off of the retina. When the finances are right, I do want to try the flash extenders and see if the offset makes the problem go away.

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