Owls are one of the most fascinating birds to look at and read about. From its wise and adorable face to its deadly killing tactics.
These birds are truly one of the most intriguing birds of prey. Preferring to dwell mostly during night hours, these birds are equipped with an endless number of physical characteristics that help them catch their scuttering prey in the dark.
Fiercely deadly talons that can squeeze the life out of a creature, binocular vision that helps them have a three-dimensional image of its surroundings, binaural hearing which helps them to localize the prey based on the direction of the sound, and so on!
Another wonderful feature of theirs that you just cannot help but mention is their big, bowl-like eyes.
Owls have front-facing eyes which are each surrounded by a round collection of feathers referred to as a facial disk.
While most birds of prey have eyes on the sides of their head, owls are an exception – but for good reason!
Front-facing eyes allow for more depth perception which is crucial when hunting in low-light conditions.
Another fun fact for you, owls’ eyes are fixed in their heads, meaning they cannot just move their eyeballs to look to the side as we can – they must turn their entire heads!
And the facts about owl eyes could virtually go on forever, as they are truly that intriguing.
But since we are all now on the same about how incredible owl eyes are, we have to talk about eye color.
While you might have seen the usual – orange, yellow, black, brown – those are old news now!
There is a new color spreading on the internet now – blue!
That’s right white snowy owls with brilliant blue eyes are all the rave. But did we ever stop to see if these birds exist at all?
And whether it was just an artist working their magic?
We must and today, we will. So without further ado, let us look at what is the deal with these blue-eyed beauties.
Are There Owls With Blue Eyes?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but no there are no blue-eyed owls, except not sprawling about on the actual earth right now.
There are definitely plenty of them out and about on the internet, edited cleverly using photoshop and whatnot to look ultra-realistic.
And we get it, they are truly magical looking! The famous image we’re talking about features a snowy owl, with a pure all-white plumage, sporting the most brilliantly contrasted blue eyes.
Straight out of a fairytale, right?
And yes, they certainly are only just a part of someone’s imagination that they were then able to render into online “reality” using technology to fool the masses!
Actual Colors Of Owls’ Eyes And Why?
Different eye colors of owls are now standard procedure when you set about identifying them.
But the different eye colors of owls are not just for you to differentiate between them!
As far as we know, studies on eye colors seem to suggest a correlation between the color and what time of day the bird usually prowls about hunting for food.
Although most owls have excellent far sight and can see pretty well during the day, the exact time of the day, whether it be the break of dawn or dusk or the endless hours of the night, can be discerned by the color of their eyes.
Owls with yellow are diurnal, meaning that they prefer spending the daytime hunting around for food and engaging in other activities.
They are most active during the day hours and rest during the night, just as human beings do.
The burrowing owl, The Great Gray Owl, Northern Saw Whet Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Snowy Owl are some examples of birds having vibrant yellow eyes.
These birds are powerful hunters during the day, and instead of relying entirely on eyesight, their hearing plays a huge part too.
They listen out for sounds of rodents scurrying about underground and after locating them, will swoop down and grab onto them with their sharp and deadly talons.
Owls with orange eyes are termed as being crepuscular – which means that they are the most active during the twilight hours – that is during the brink of dusk and dawn.
The Eurasian Eagle Owl is a good example of a bird who likes hunting in the soft light of dusk and dawn.
With their bright yellow eyes and their ear tufts that stand out strong on the sides of their heads, they have the most striking appearance.
They also have an incredibly powerful flight and strong gripping talons that make them effective hunters.
Dark Brown/ Black Eyes
Moving on to the case of most owls, dark brown or black eyes in owls denote that they are nocturnal – preferring to spend the active part of our day when we are sound asleep. Though the dark eyes do not do much in improving their eyesight per say, it does make them less noticeable.
Thus, unlike a bright and vibrant shade of yellow and orange gleaming through the dark and alerting the prey, their dark eyes give them some stealth.
According to some research, these birds can actually hunt in complete darkness even, by using their binaural hearing abilities to locate the relative direction of their prey!
Barn Owl, Barred Owl, and the Northern Spotted Owl are some examples of owls with dark eyes.
And that was the captivatingly huge world of owls’ eyes! Maybe you are left bereft after knowing that blue-eyed owls are not reality, but why be so when the owls that we do have are capable of such amazing feats?
We hope you had fun traversing this intriguing world, and that you learned something new!
Thank You For Reading!
Related Articles You May Like