Owl eye color || The eye color of owl Updated 2021

Owl eye color

The eye color of the owls is the mirror of their lives and can tell a lot about their species. Owl Eye Color does not only help the birders to explore about their species but it also aids them in telling whether the species is diurnal or nocturnal. It is evident that owl behavior varies in a lot of ways than other birds.

Most of the people are obsessed with owls, and eager to keep them as pets. What is so special about these mysterious creatures? While owls look jaw-opening while hunting, at the same time people are anxious about them because usually they do not want to be seen.

Diurnal owls are active during the day while nocturnal owls are active at night. Most owls are nocturnal in nature. Orange eye color of the owls tells us that they are ‘crepuscular’. Crepuscular means they are active during twilight. The Eurasian eagle has orange eye colors.

On the other hand, owls with darker eye colors like brown and black are usually nocturnal and they hunt and prey at night. Nocturnal owl species include barre owls, and Northern Spotted owls.

Owls having yellow eyeballs tells us a whole different story. Owls with yellow eyes are diurnal, and they are active during the day. Prominent examples for diurnal owls are Snowy owl, and burrowing owls.

Owl eye color

If you are an owl enthusiast and you know about their different species, then you definitely know about how different their eye colors are, well they can tell you a lot about their lives. Owl eye color helps you quickly identify and determine “What is the species of this owl?”. Not only this owl eye color helps us to know either they are diurnal or nocturnal. I know most of the owls are nocturnal, but their eye color can help us know at what time they like or prefer to hunt. In addition to having different eye colors, owls have fantastic eyesight, and they can see brilliantly even in low light and in the dark. 

Owl’s Eye color, What Does It Mean?

Inside of an owl’s eye:

Unlike humans, the eyes of the owls are not round, instead of having round eyes, they have more extended and tubular-shaped eyes. This eye structure enables them to allow more light in the eyes, and it means they can see much better than humans in the dark. However, there is one con of having such eye structure: the eyes of the owls are “Stationary.” Owls cannot move their eyes, but they also have adapted to this kind of sight. Unlike humans, owls can move up their head in a 360-degree direction to see on their sides, and what is happening behind them.

What does owl eye color mean?

It may not be a hundred percent accurate, but the eye colors of owls let you know at which times they prefer to be the most active either at dawn or dusk, in the day, or at night. However, most of the time, it is still a fruitful method because many species of owls having the same eye color also hunt at the same time.

Owl eye colors

It is essential to know about the owl eye color because it will let you know about various associated phenomena. Below are the eye colors of the owls and their relative description: Read more about the picture editing softwere.

Owls having orange eye color:

All those owls having orange colors in their eyes are the ones that prefer to be active at the sunrise and the sunset. Suh animals that are active at dawn and dusk are known as crepuscular animals. Such owls are relatively large in size, and therefore they also need more animal protein. Eurasian eagle-owl and great horned owl are prominent examples of such owls having orange-colored eyes. They tend to eat mice, rats, rabbits, and other animals as prey. All these owls are large and can grow about twenty-two inches. The horned owl is quite famous in the U.S and can even be observed in populated areas.

Owls having black or brown colored eyes:

Owls that have dark-colored eyes like black and brown prefer to hunt at night. Such animals or birds that hunt at night are called nocturnal. Having a darker color in their eyes does not cause any hindrance to them in watching anything. Instead, they help them in hiding during the dark, a process known as camouflage. Having brighter colored eyes will let their prey to detect them and hence they will face difficulty to prey at night. Northern spotted owls, Barn owls, and barred owls are some clear examples of such owls. All these owls are nocturnal, and they all follow the same pattern. According to researchers, barn owls are even capable of catching and attacking their prey, even in the total darkness. They use their sense of hearing in the dark while looking for their prey.

Owls having Yellow eyes:

An owl with yellow-colored eyes means that they are made to hunt during the day. All those animals and birds that hunt during the day are called diurnal animals. Among these owls, the largest is the gray owl, which can grow up to 30 inches. These owls are not only gifted with excellent eyesight, but they also have a great sense of hearing. These owls can even sense the mice and other creatures moving under the snow, and then they can grab them by their pointy claws or nails. Other owls having this eye color are smaller in size, almost equal to ravens. But, they are experts at hunting during the day.

Why do Owls have different color eyes?

You all must have loved the Hedwig (the snowy owl)In Harry Potter, and it made everyone want an owl as a pet. For that, you can check our article, “Owls as pets.” Coming back to the topic and understanding what does an owl eye color mean and why don’t they all have the same eye color? The secret lies in their activity, their eye colors tell us about which time of the day or night they prefer to be active. 

Orange eye colored owls prefer to hunt and feed themselves during the day. Gray Owl is a prominent example of such owls.

Dark eye colored owls are nocturnal. The dark color of their eyes aids them in camouflaging. Similarly, owls with yellow eye color are crepuscular hunting at dawn and dusk.

You may have seen some of the owls having blue colored eyes mainly on the internet at various websites. But these owls do not actually exist, and these photos which you see are nothing more than the products of photoshop.

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Barn owl eye color

Barn owls are not too large and not too small. These owls have long round wings and have a definite way of flying called “buoyant flying”. This mode of flying makes them float in the air. Their head is quite round, and they do not have any ear holes or outgrows; therefore, the head looks much more round and smooth. 

Barn owls have beautiful transitions of brown, black, grey, and white colors. They have full white color on their face, lower body, and smaller wings. Their eyes are typically darker, making them nocturnal hunters. 

Barred owl eye color

Barred owls are relatively larger in size than barn owls but not too large. They have a patterned body and a round tail. Their heads are also round in shape with no ear holes or outgrown. 

Barred owls have patterns of brown and white overall on their bodies. Their eyes are dark brown in color, appearing as black in color. 

Snowy owl eye color

Snowy owls are enormous. They have a lot of feathers on their entire body. Having more feathers on their lower body makes them look wider while they sit. Snowy owls have an overall bulky look, with round heads and no ear tufts. Snowy owls, as their name suggests, are majorly white in color. However, they have black and brown marks on their entire bodies. The males are larger, and they become more white as they mature. The snowy owl eyes have yellow colored eyes, making them diurnal. 

What colors can owls be? 

Owls come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Different species of owls show different behaviors; some are nocturnal; some are diurnal, while others are crepuscular. Not just in body colors, they also differ in their eye colors, and their eye colors can tell you about their activity status. Owls come in different patterns majorly in shades of black, brown, grey, white, and yellow. 

What colors are owl beaks? 

As owls come in different sizes, so their beaks too; therefore, most owls have light-colored beaks like pale yellow, pink, white, and gray. 

What color is the owl’s feet? 

Most of the species of the owls have their feet covered through plenty of feathers so that they can protect them from the harsh weather and climate. Feathers also provide the opportunity to sense if there is something on their feet. Feathers on feet also preserve them from sudden bites of the prey. 

The feet of an owl consists of four toes. Whenever they attack, capture, and perch, they utilize all of their four toes, three of them pointing in the forward direction while the one facing backward. 

Owl’s feet are also called talons, have a firm grip, and the prey hardly gets a chance to run away once they are in their clutch. The bones present in an owl’s feet are much shorter and more durable when compared to other birds. 

The length, color, and size of an owl’s talons vary considerably, and it majorly depends on their species. However, they all have these things in common

  • Pinty-sharp claws
  • Strong grip

The color of the owl’s talons can range from pale grey to ivory; some do have nearly black talons as well. 

Great horned owl eye color

These owls are large with thick plumage. Unlike other owls, their heads are not round. They have precise horn-like projections on their heads. Their wings are large and round. Great horned owls have short beaks. These features make them look bare-faced due to the relatively shorter size of the bill. 

Great horned owls have an overall gray-brown look with different patterns on their body overall. However, they do possess a bright patch on their throats. The Great Horn owl’s eye color is yellow. 

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Exotic Colored Owls

There are different kinds of owl species. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Barn Owl 
  • Barred Owl 
  • Boreal Owl 
  • Burrowing Owl 
  • Eastern Screech Owl
  • Elf Owl
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
  • Flammulated Owl
  • Great Gray Owl
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Long-Eared Owl
  • Northern Hawk Owl
  • Northern Pygmy-Owl
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Snowy Owl
  • Spotted Owl
  • Western Screech-owl
  • Whiskered Screech-Owl

Owl eyes meaning

Owl’s eye color tells us a lot of things. Different species have different kinds of eye colors. Each eye color is unique and tells us about which time of day or night, the owls prefer to hunt and eat. There are different kinds of eye colors; brown or black, yellow, orange. 

Can an owl have blue eyes? 

The blue-colored eyes for the owls do not actually exist. We all know that they look exotic, but they are nothing but the neat edits of photoshop and other picture editing tools. 

Why do some owls have yellow eyes? 

Yellow eye colored owls are those that are diurnal in nature. They prefer to hunt and prey in the day. The tubular structure of their eyes allows more light to come in, providing them excellent eyesight. 

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What do owl eyes look like at night? 

Owls do not have eyeballs like humans. Their eyes are tubular and are elongated. Moreover, they can adjust their pupils like us when the light becomes dark or bright. Instead, they open their lids halfway to limit the light coming into their eyes. 

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