Are There Owls With Orange Eyes: Explained In Detail

Owls With Orange Eyes

Owls are the living aves that mainly come from the family Strigidae or Tytonidae, who are known to be the famous nocturnal hunters in the world. 

Now, owls can be found all around the world except Antarctica, as 200 species of them are living. 

Along with the outer appearance and loud, continuous voice, the most important factor that can scare some animals or humans are their eyes. 

Has anyone ever wondered why all the owl species have such wide eyes? 

This is because they don’t have any eyeballs, they more likely have a long, tubular-shaped eye which doesn’t allow any movement within the socket and most importantly, they are farsighted. 

Having binocular vision, they focus on the prey, calculate the distance and finally go for the kill. They possess three eyelids, for blinking, sleeping and keeping the eye clean simultaneously. 

Colours of eyes can vary from one species to another between yellow, orange, dark brown, black or red, each having its own specific significance. 

In this article, we’ll focus on why orange is the colour of the eyes, their specialities, symbolism and some more details about the species owning this colour. 

Do Owls Have Orange Eyes? 

Yes, some species from the Strigidae family do have orange eyes including the Eurasian eagle owl and the great horned owl. 

The eye colours can indicate what time of the day they are active the most, and most of the species with the same eye colour seem to be hunting during that particular period but there can always be exceptions. 

Two species of owls sporting beautiful orange-coloured eyes are: 

Eurasian eagle owl

  • Scientific name: Bubo bubo
  • Size of an adult: 75 cm in length approximately
  • Weight of an adult: 1.5-4.6 kg
  • Wingspan: 188cm 
  • Flying speed: 65km/hour
  • Lifespan: 20-60 years on average.
  • Appearance: Distinctive ear feathers are present and the whole body is protected by dark brown to creamy grey coloured feathers. The facial disc is speckled with dark brown feathers and dark orange eyes. 
  • Habitat: They’re scattered across Europe, Asia and the Middle East and found in mountainous regions, coniferous forests, and other remote areas. 
  • Food: Carnivorous and insectivorous feeding on all types of mammals, birds, reptiles, and other invertebrates. 
  • Nesting period: They mainly breed during late winters, laying 1-4 eggs with an incubation period of approximately a month. 
  • Hunting: Both nocturnal and crepuscular hunters makes them a nightmare. 

Great horned owl

  • Scientific name: Bubo virginianus.
  • Size of an adult: 45-65cm in length. 
  • Weight of an adult: 900-2500 gm.
  • Wingspan: 100-145 cm. 
  • Flying speed: 65km/hour 
  • Lifespan: 10-35 years
  • Appearance: A round-faced bird with a horn-shaped feather on the crown which is of a darker colour than the rest of the body helping it to don the camouflage and also possesses solid legs, feet and claws. This particular species has 2 types of eye colour, both yellow and orange. 
  • Habitat: Native in North, South and Central America primarily occurring in woodlands, open fields, grasslands, swampy areas and even desserts. 
  • Food: Carnivorous in nature, feeding on terrestrial vertebrates like cottontail rabbits, domestic cats, muskrats, and squirrels. 
  • Nesting period: The breeding season starts from November and continues up to April laying about 6 eggs where the incubation period is of 35 days. 
  • Hunting: Nocturnal birds, hunt only at night. 

Why Do Owls Have Orange Eyes?

These owls prefer hunting in the soft light of dusk or dawn, termed as crepuscular. The colour of the eyes prefers the hunting time of an owl and helps bird lovers and ornithologists identify a particular species. 

If light reflection happens during dark times in the eyes, they appear to be red, which is quite fearful and also spoils the camouflage of the bird. 

Owl with orange eyes Meaning and Symbolism: 

This colour of the eyeball symbolises that the great horned owl and the Eurasian eagle owl are crepuscular, hunting their meal during the twilight period of dusk and dawn. But some folks do associate them with being negative and devilish.

Other Eyes Color in Owls and Why they’ve Them?

Owls can have different colours of eyes varying within the different species.

The colours can be: 

  • Yellow: The diurnal owls who prefer hunting during daytime like the great grey owl. 
  • Black or dark brown: Barred owls, the nocturnal ones, prefer to hunt during the night. 
  • Red: The owls that have albinism have red eyes, due to the presence of blood vessels. 


Orange eyes are beautiful and fearful at the same time depending on what part of the day you’re watching this bird. 

I hope through this article you get something Informative and useful.

Thanks for reading! 

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