For birds, sight is the most critical of the senses for survival. Hence, their eyes are much larger in relation to the size of their heads (and brains) in comparison to other vertebrate, including we humans. A large pupil allows more light to enter. That’s why an Eastern Yellow Robin (aka – Dawn Angels) can be out and about so early and so late in the day.
Of course, birds also have amazing peripheral vision, due to the eyes being located on the sides of the head.
By the way, all the photos in this piece were taken in my Blue Mountains garden; which is both an inspiration and a sanctuary. My camera is a tiny one I can carry in my pocket, so please don’t judge the pics too harshly. 😎
Birds are a true wonder of nature. Those white circles that define the sweet little silvereyes are made of tiny feathers.
I wonder whether it’s the same with the New Holland Honeyeaters? I must check.
It’s hard to top the beauty of a mature, male bowerbird’s violet eyes. Actress Elizabeth Taylor’s were a similar colour, no wonder she mesmerized so many men. 😎
Females and juveniles have equally gorgeous blue eyes.
The glowing, golden eye of the Currawong can spell trouble for nestlings and and other small creatures,
And yes, if the chocolate brown eye of the butcher bird spies some poor, sun-basking lizard its hooked beak will……..well, let’s not go there. Mother nature can be cruel as well as clever.
Conversely, you could drown in the kindly eye of the inoffensive Wonga Pigeon. This is a juvenile, hatched and raised in my garden. We called him Solo, because his sibling didn’t make it. 😪
It’s the same with the gentle, bronze cuckoo dove. Believe me, the photo does not do his grey/blue eye justice.
I watch the birds in our garden and they watch me! Must admit I feel slightly unsettled by the steady gaze of a tawny frogmouth.
Speaking of a steady gaze, do birds blink? Well ….. sort of. They don’t use their upper and lower lids the way we do. Oh no, it’s a much more sophisticated arrangement. They have a translucent membrane that sweeps across the eyeball horizontally, rather like a windscreen wiper.
SHUT-EYE FOR BIRDS?
When birds sleep they are able to keep one half of their brain awake. This means they can keep peeping about to avoid any ambush by a predator. Pretty clever don’t you think?
Well, that’s it. Goodnight from me, and goodnight from my bird friends .💚
Oh, do birds dream? To find out, CLICK HERE.