7 Amazing Birds With BIG EYES (Photos & Fun Facts)

There are many different types of birds with big eyes, but the most common type is the owl.

The Owl is a nocturnal bird that hunts for its prey by sight rather than sound. It has large eyes to see in the dark and it can also hear very well.

Bird With Big Eyes

Owls have sharp ears and they use them to listen for sounds such as owls calling or other animals making noises.

But are there any other magnificent birds with big eyes such as the owl? This article takes a closer look.

The Owl

The Owl

Starting with our introductory bird, the owl is the most famous bird with big eyes. These nocturnal birds have large eyes because they need to be able to see at night.

Owls are found all over the world except in Antarctica. In North America, there are nineteen species of owls.

Species of owl include Burrowing Owl, Great Horned Owl, Northern Saw-Whet Owl, Short-Eared Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl, Snowy Owl, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Long-eared Owl, and the Great Gray Owl.

Across the globe, there are over 200 different species.

The eyes of an owl are large for birds of prey and are 2.2 times the size of other birds. They even have a 50-70% field overlap!



Found in the coldest places on this planet, penguins have evolved lenses that are extremely powerful and enable them to compensate for a flat cornea.

They have adapted to seeing and swimming underwater.

The penguin eye structure fails to adapt at times and this means, perception and instinct might come into play instead.

A penguin’s eyes are modified to see on land and in the water.

They have perfect binocular vision, and this means that they can look at one object with both of their eyes.

The Osprey

The Osprey

Ospreys are fish-eating birds that live in oceans around the world. They are known for their beautiful plumage and long tail feathers.

Their eyes are located on top of their head and they have a huge range of vision. The Osprey is a diverse species of bird. It lives on lakes, rivers, ponds, and coastal areas.

Ospreys hunt fish and eat small mammals like rabbits and rodents. They nest in trees and build nests out of sticks and grasses.

They are bred through the northern Palearctic and have a smaller population in southwestern Europe and other islands.

Their vision has been adapted to detect an underwater object from the air and have huge eyes for their size.

It is shaped like a tube to help with producing a larger image on the backs of their heads. There are lots of receptors in the retina, and this determines their visual acuity.

They have an incredible long-distance vision that is 6 to 8 times better than humans.

The Hawk

The Hawk

Hawks are one of the largest birds in the world. They live in forests and fields across the world.

Hawks are predators and eat mostly small animals like mice, frogs, lizards, snakes, and insects. They hunt their food using vision to find prey.

Their eyes are about twice the size of those of a human being. They have enormous eyes and are 1.4 times bigger than those of similar size birds.

They also have binocular orientation. These birds of prey are predatory birds that use their feet to kill.

The raptor’s vision is shaped by the pressures of prey pursuit and capture and is famous around the world.



There are over 60 species of eagle found in Eurasia and Africa but outside of these regions, there are only 14 species 2 of these will be found in North America, 9 found in Central and South America, and 3 of the species are found in Australia

An eagle’s eye is incredibly powerful and is 4 to 8 times stronger than that of a human, yet the eyes are of the same size as a human too.

Light passes through the eagle’s cornea before it is refracted as it has a curved convex shape.

The structure of the eagle’s eyes helps an eagle target its prey before approaching.

Eagles also have transparent lenses that change shape so they can focus on an object accurately and quickly.

The sclera has 15 bones that give the eye its form and helps protect its structure.

The Falcon

The Falcon

Falcons are one of the most well-known birds of prey. This predator hunts its food using sight.

Falcons have a very high level of vision and have great depth perception. They are considered to be among the best hunters in the animal kingdom.

They have a keen sense of smell and hearing as well. They can spot prey up to 100 meters away.

Wandering Albatross

Wandering Albatross

The Wandering Albatross is a shorebird with big eyes and only visits the shores when they need to breed. Once on the shore, they often end up living next to the oceans.

Their eyes are big but they’re also extremely sharp, and this helps them with vision.

The retina in their eye, and celulares which are bigger than most other birds, have also been found in birds across the globe such as the great shearwater, broad-billed prion, Kerguelen petrel, and common diving-petrel.

They have distinctive cells which help enhance their vision and these are grouped and are more prominent than others found in the rest of the retina.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have enjoyed this article on birds with big eyes and feel inspired to perhaps do some bird watching of your own.

Birds with big eyes often have excellent vision and can see for miles as they sit and watch for potential prey.

The position of their cells and vision will however also depend on weather conditions, changing seasons, and light and so sometimes, having big eyes is not the ultimate factor of the catch!

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