American Robin

Bird Vision

Birds can see two to three times more sharply than humans. Some birds have monocular vision, while others have binocular vision.

American Robins have eyes that are situated on the sides of their heads. As they look at an object, they can only see it with one eye at a time (monocular vision). Some birds have eyes that are located so far back on their heads that they can see behind better than in front. Some birds with monocular vision bob or move their heads back and forth, giving the birds clues about what is going on in their environment. A lot of birds with monocular vision are birds that are prey to other birds and animals.

The American Woodcock’s eyes are positioned in the back of their heads, which may be a protective feature, as the woodcock watches for enemies while it probes for food.

Birds with monocular vision have a wider field of view whereas birds with binocular vision have a narrower field of view. Birds of prey have binocular vision which allows them to see objects with both eyes simultaneously. Raptors and owls have eyes that are set in the front of their skull. Some raptors can see small prey a mile away.