Why do Owls have different colour eyes?

You may have noticed that like us Owls also have different coloured eyes. You will have seen Yellow, Orange, Dark Brown / Black and possibly even Blue eyes in pictures online. Well there is a reason for each colour and it is to do with the time of day the Owl predominantly hunts.

Yellow Eyes


Yellow eyes appear on owls who are diurnal which means they prefer to hunt in the day time. Such as the great gray owl, a 30 inches long diurnal owl with yellow eyes. They have excellent eyesight but these birds use their hearing to detect mice or other small rodents moving beneath the snow, they then swoop down and grab them with their talons.7

Orange Eyes

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Owls that have orange eyes are active around dawn and dusk, known as being crepuscular. These owls, for example the Eurasian eagle owl are found all around the world. Large owls up to about 22 inches long, they hunt large prey like mice, rabbits and other birds.

Dark Brown or Black


Owls with dark brown or black eyes are usually nocturnal, preferring to hunt at night. The dark color doesn’t improve night time vision, its believed its to help camouflage them better than brighter eyes. Owls with dark eyes are sometimes seen out in daylight, typically on cloudy days.

Blue Eyes


Blue eyed owls are so rare they do not exist, well anywhere but the internet. Several images exist online of owls with blue eyes but they are nothing more than a product of internet tricksters with a copy of Photoshop.

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