Raven and Nictitating Membrane

January 21, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

When you spend much time outdoors, certain 'common' animals tend to blend into the background.  Few pictures are made of these regulars as you search for the more elusive animals.

If you're a raven; who live across the entire continental United States and are very regularly seen and heard across the country with few exceptions; it doesn't help that your name is the 'Common Raven.'

Being omnivorous, these birds' diet varies greatly depending on the location and time of year.  They eat the regular bird food like grains, berries and insects, but also scat, meat, fish ... and of course your unattended picnic.

Having a life expectancy of up to 17 years in the wild, they thrive in all types of climates, from southern beaches to Alaska's Brooks range, where temperatures can drop down to -50 in winter!

Here are a few of my favorite close-up shots of ravens in winter. 

Note the 'nictitating membrane' over the eye in some images: this extra eyelid helps protect the eye from dust and wind.

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Nictitating membrane half closed


Thanks to their high metabolism and insulation, ravens can survive in the coldest climates



Another look at the raven's nictitating membrane



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