Remarkable might describe the eyesight of our pet birds. Birds are intensely visual. Of the five senses, sight is the most acute. The eyes of birds have reached perfection superior to any other animal. Birds obtain more information about their environment through their eyesight than available to any other living thing. The eyes collect data about the direction, distance, size, shape, color, three-dimensional depth and motion of an object. This gives our birds a great advantage in the wild. Their incredible range of vision is due to the placement of the eyes on the sides of the head. This fact coupled with the shape of the cornea allows for wide-angle vision. Birds focus straight forward with both eyes but also see sideways just as effectively. Their peripheral vision is extremely keen especially related to moving objects. Although a bird's eyes seem small, proportionately they are much larger than ours. The only visible portion of a bird's eye is the cornea. The largest part remains hidden. The eyelashes are small feathers, not hairs. If you are very observant of your bird, you will notice the head does not always point to the object the bird may be looking at. If he tilts his head at you, he is just looking at you from another angle. Birds have three eyelids - an outer, upper and lower lid and the third eyelid just inside the others. The third eyelid performs the job of cleaning and moistening the cornea. Pet birds blink their eyelid 30-60 times a minute even though you may not see it. Birds see detail better than mammals and are able to detect color. You may have noticed your bird prefers certain colored toys or foods. They need that super vision to find food, avoid predators, select a mate and choose a great nesting site. A bird's eyes are wide-set and has amazing mobility in his neck and head. He can see what's happening behind him by swiveling his head 180 degrees.
We would like to thank "Libby", a Yellow Sided Green Cheek, whose eye is shown above, for such a great picture of a birdie eye and our Cosmo Macaw for her eye modeling.
So now you know, a bird's eye view is quite a view indeed.
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