If you look closely at an owl’s eyes, you’ll notice the owl’s eye colors are different.
The color of an owl’s eyes tells a story about their lives.
An owl’s eye color helps us identify their species and indicates the time of day they predominantly hunt.
Although this isn’t always accurate with every owl species, as a birdwatcher, it helps pinpoint your best chances of seeing one.
Dark Brown or Black Owl’s Eyes
Owls with dark brown or black eyes are nocturnal, meaning they prefer to hunt at night.
The dark eye color doesn’t help the owls to see in the dark. It’s an evolutionary trait to help them to camouflage in the darkness.
There are many species of owls with dark eye colors, including the Northern Spotted Owl, Barred Owl, and Barn Owl.
You might have some of these owls in your back yard right now.
These owls can capture prey in total darkness with their incredible sense of hearing.
There’s a chance you might see one of these owls in daylight on a cloudy day, but these sightings are treasured moments.
Orange Owl’s Eyes
Owls with orange eyes are crepuscular, meaning they’re active during low light periods such as dusk and dawn.
Owls with orange eyes prefer hunting for their meal in the soft light of the early morning.
Species of owls with orange eyes include the Eurasian Eagle-owl.
READ: THE WISE OWL
Yellow Owl’s Eyes
Owls with yellow eyes are diurnal and prefer to hunt during the daytime.
Their habits are just like humans.
Owls with yellow eyes are active in the day and sleep at night.
Common owls with yellow eyes include Burrowing Owl, Great Gray Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Short-earned Owl, Great Horned Owl and the Snowy Owl.
Their beauty is simply undeniable.
These owls have excellent eyesight but rely on their hearing to detect mice or other small rodents moving beneath the snow.
Then they swoop down and grab their prey with their talons.
Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity
Success at finding an owl often results from being in the right place at the right time.
It takes patience, persistence, preparation, and some luck.
But the chance of seeing a beautiful up-close is worth the effort.
Now get out and see some owls.
If you love owls, here are a few organizations you can support that advocate and protect these beautiful birds.
Support the Owl Research Institute. Read more about them here.
Support the Nature Conservancy who are working throughout the world to protect owls and owl habitat. Read more about them here.