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As bird photographers, we are often told to focus on the bird eyes and make sure they are not only visible but also stand out.

Chickadees are quite common in our area, at any time of the year. Up to now in most of the photos I took of them, their black eyes blend in and are indistinguishable from their black cap. Recently, at sunset, one of them posed long enough with its head turned to the sun, and revealed its bright eyes.

Carolina Chickadee.

The female Ruddy Duck has brown eyes, usually lost in its brown cap, until the sun shines on them.

Female Ruddy Duck.

Sparrows have brown eyes which are more visible, but a ray of sunlight also helped to bring them out.

White-throated Sparrow.

On the other hand Red-breasted Mergansers have devilish red eyes that cannot be missed.

Red-breasted Mergansers.