Can Birds See in the Dark?

can birds see in the dark

Birds are interesting creatures and many people wonder if they can see in the dark. The answer is yes, birds can see in the dark. However, their vision is not as clear as it is in daylight.

Birds have a special layer of tissue called the tapetum lucidum that reflects light back into the eye, which helps them to see better in low light conditions. Additionally, birds have more rods in their eyes than humans, which allows them to see better in dim lighting but results in poorer color vision.

There are a lot of urban legends out there about animals and their abilities. One such legend is that birds can see in the dark. But can they really?

The simple answer is no, birds cannot see in the dark. Their eyes are just like ours and need light to see. However, there are some reasons why this legend might exist.

One reason could be that birds tend to have very good night vision when compared to other animals. This is because they have a high density of rods in their eyes, which allows them to gather more light. So while they can’t technically see in the dark, they can see better than most other animals in low-light conditions.

Another reason for the legend could be that some birds are known to roost in caves or other dark places. While they may not be able to see much while inside these places, they likely have a good sense of where everything is since they’re so used to being there. Additionally, many birds (especially owls) have excellent hearing, which helps them locate prey even in complete darkness.

So while birds may not be able to see in the literal sense of the word, there are definitely some reasons why people believe this urban legend!

Which Bird Can Not See at Night?

There are several species of birds that cannot see at night, including the cave swiftlet, the oilbird, and the kiwi. These birds have evolved to live in complete darkness and have very poor eyesight. The kiwi, for example, has extremely small eyes that can only detect light and dark.

Do Birds Have Bad Eyesight in the Dark?

No, birds do not have bad eyesight in the dark. In fact, many birds can see better in the dark than we can. This is because their eyes are designed differently than ours.

Humans have round pupils that open and close to control the amount of light that enters our eyes. Birds have vertical slit pupils that don’t change in size. This design allows them to let more or less light into their eyes, depending on the time of day or night.

Additionally, the back of a bird’s eye is covered in a reflective layer called the tapetum lucidum. This layer reflects light back through the retina, giving birds a second chance to see objects that are otherwise difficult to see in low light conditions.

Which Bird Can See Clearly at Night?

There are several nocturnal, or night-active, birds that can see quite well in low light. These include the owls, nightjars and some species of swift. They have large eyes relative to their body size, which helps them collect more light.

In addition, their retinas (the inner surface of the eye where light is detected) contain more rod cells than cone cells. Rods are better at detecting dim light than cones, while cones provide color vision and work best in bright conditions. Birds also have a reflective layer behind the retina called the tapetum lucidum, which helps to reflect incoming light back through the rods a second time for even better low-light vision.

What Do Birds Do When It Gets Dark?

When it gets dark outside, birds go to sleep. They roost in their nests or in trees and bushes. Some birds, like owls, are nocturnal and active at night.

But most birds are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.

Can Sparrows See in the Dark

Sparrows are small birds with short necks and round heads. They are found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas, forests, and grasslands. Sparrows are active during the day and typically roost at night.

It is generally believed that sparrows cannot see in the dark. However, recent research has shown that some species of sparrows may have the ability to see ultraviolet (UV) light. This means that they could potentially see in low-light conditions that would be too dark for humans to perceive.

The exact reason why sparrows would have this ability is not yet known. It is possible that it provides them with an advantage in their natural environment. For example, UV light could help them find food or avoid predators.

Alternatively, it could be a side effect of another adaptation, such as improved night vision. Regardless of the reason, the ability to see in the dark would be a valuable asset for any bird. It would allow them to extend their activities into times when most other animals are resting or sleeping.

If you’ve ever seen a sparrow perched on a power line at night, you may have witnessed this unusual talent firsthand!

Can Budgies See in the Dark

Most budgies are able to see in the dark, although their vision is not as sharp as it is in daylight. Their eyes are adapted to both bright and dim light conditions. However, if your budgie’s cage is located in a room that doesn’t get much natural light, you may want to consider providing a nightlight.

Which Bird Cannot See at Night

There are a few different birds that cannot see at night, but the most common one is the owl. Owls have very poor eyesight during the day, but they make up for it with their incredible hearing. They can hear prey moving around from far away, and then they use their sharp claws to catch it.


The post starts off by asking if birds can see in the dark and answers with a resounding yes! Birds have very good eyesight overall, and this extends to their ability to see in low light. The author goes on to explain how this is possible, citing the large pupils, high number of cones, and reflective layer at the back of the eye called the tapetum lucidum.

This means that not only can birds see in the dark, but they can also see better than we can in low light conditions. So next time you’re out at night and see a bird fly by, remember that they can probably see you just as well!

Adrian Hopper

Welcome to! I created The Birds Beast to share my passion for all things birds with the rest of the world. I also belong to a professional group devoted to birds, and as a means of outreach, I use this blog to help as many people as I possibly can. Birds are some of the least treated pets in the United States. It is my fervent desire to change this, and I hope my blogging will motivate meaningful actions and allow individuals to safely handle their birds.

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