Can pigeons see at night? | Do pigeons have night vision?

Pigeons- the most beautiful & first humans domesticated bird that is always searched by people for different reasons on the internet.

The most curious search is; visual acuity of pigeons, can pigeons see at night? This query looks to ignite very different answers from a different person as many will say yes while others have no explanation for this. 

So, can pigeons see at night or not? Are they nocturnal birds? Are they blind at night? All these questions will be answered in this guide.

Pigeon’s visual acuity:

As the studies suggest, 200,000 photoreceptors/sq mm is the visual acuteness of the human retina, so the same is for pigeons.

From the frontal vision, the pigeon’s eye does accept light but it receives light from the sideway vision that has more than 400,000 photoreceptors.

However, do you know Pigeons can easily see objects that are far away with a central vision clearly? Yes! But, humans cannot clearly see from their central vision, the objects move out & they lose their visual acuity. But, this is not the case with Pigeons.

Also, pigeons have eyes on the side of their head. It widens their vision and thus, makes them better than humans.

Unlike humans, they rotate their eyes independently in different directions and that’s why they can see better.  They largely depend on moonlight and the city lights for their directions at night.

In cities, you can see pigeons around the buildings even late at night, while in the wild, they go to bed right after sunset.

Related Read: Things To Know Before Buying Pigeons As Pets

Do Pigeons have color vision?

Human eyes can see three different channels of colors & that is why we call human eyes trichromatic.

On the other side, Pigeons have the capacity to see five different tracks of colors & known as pentachromatic and which results in the extra color visibility of Pigeons.

The pigeons are able to see even ultraviolet lights that are not possible for human eyes to see.

For example; human eyes can see a Rainbow & its colors like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet but, there are more colors a rainbow consists of that can be seen by pigeons.

Pigeon’s field of vision:

Having eyes on both sides of their head provides two different fields of vision to pigeons- a vertical vision of 135-degrees while a horizontal vision of 340-degrees.

Most of you are thinking about what that actually means? It helps pigeons’ eyes capture more

expansive fields by which they can see objects in front of them and side as well. At the same time, humans have a 135-degrees vertical field of view & 180-degrees horizontal.

Related Read: Can Pigeons fly at Night?

Do pigeons have night vision?

Pigeons are known as the bird of daylight. They can perform better, fly higher as their vision are better in the daytime. They are diurnal birds but, it doesn’t mean that they cannot watch at night. Yes, Pigeons are not entirely blind at night.

If we compare Pigeons with nocturnal birds, yes, they don’t have night vision; still, their eyes are extra sensitive to light.

City lights & moonlight are what they need to discover their way at night-time. If they will receive the slightest amount of light before sunrise & after sunset, they can see & recognize them.

What If A Pigeon Is Attacked At Night?

Pigeons, as it is said, are not entirely blind at night. They choose nests to spend a peaceful night. They don’t sleep with their eyes open but they can sense danger and are very active at night when it comes to protecting themselves against predators.

Large owls and other nocturnal birds and animals are active at night and pigeons in the wild are always on their radar.

Pigeons can sense danger and can fly in the night if needed. They leave their nest and fly off to a safer place. If possible, they fight or leave their nest. 

What Do Pigeons Do At Night?

Pigeons sleep at night. They roost o =n their perches and keep an eye on predators. They feed on early morning to sunset and then get back home.

Related Read: Do Pigeons Nest in Trees? | Have You Seen them on Trees?

Can Pigeons Be Trained To See In The Dark?

Training has proved that pigeons are very intelligent birds. At times, pigeons have learned to recognize Picasso’s paintings, but if they can see in the dark with training it is quite confusing.

Training them will not change their eyes’ mechanism.  Yes, they can be seen changing their flying patterns in the dark and in daylight, but it cannot be said if pigeons can be trained to fly in the dark.

Should I Dark Train My Pigeon?

If you are a pigeon owner and this question is bugging you, ask yourself, “why”. Why would you like to dark train your pigeon? It is a day bird that can see, fly, and have fun during daylight.

If you leave a pigeon to fly, it will return home as it starts getting dark. Flying in the dark is unnatural for birds and you are challenging their natural attributes. 


Pigeons can see in the dark but only to an extent. The amount of light out there plays an important role in defining their night vision. So, pigeons are not nocturnal birds.

They will fly away if disturbed at night, but it will only disrupt their sleep, as night is not for flying for pigeons.

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