Are Ducks Colorblind

Are Ducks Colorblind? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If you have ever wondered if ducks are colorblind, then you should read this article to the end.

The other day I saw a group of ducks and the way they walked in a straight line without missing a step was truly remarkable… which makes them wonderful pets

This led me to wonder if there was anything special with their eyesight and the way they see light and color.

Are ducks colorblind? No ducks are not colorblind. The only difference is that they do not see colors the way you and I see them. They have the unique ability to see reds, greens, yellows and blue more vibrantly and with more intensity than humans. This is simply because of their retinas and an extra set of cones which allows them to see ultraviolet radiation.

Ducks are awesome birds and their eyesight is extremely good and these are some of the characteristics that make them fly farther.

Can Ducks See Forward?

Are Ducks Colorblind
Photo by Brandon Montrone on

Now by forward I mean how far can they see.

One of the differences between ducks and chicken, which I mentioned in this article is that ducks can actually see a lot farther than chickens.

According to research, ducks can see two to three times farther than most humans can see.

This is because of their powerful muscles that control the curvature of their corneas and lenses.

Unlike in the human eye, where only the lens can adjust, it is a lot different for ducks.

This remarkable adaptation is the reason why a duck’s vision is very powerful and one of it’s strongest senses.

A duck can see way farther than it can hear making them very powerful birds in flight.

Another thing to note is that ducks have their eyes located on either sides of their heads which gives them a nearly 360 degrees vision.

And also the shape of their eyes ensures that they see clearly things that are far away.

Can Ducks See Pink?

One other question that comes up a lot especially among duck hunters is whether ducks can see the color pink

Like I mentioned above, ducks have the unique ability to see different colors and ultraviolet radiation.

As such, yes, ducks can see pink very well.

Their powerful retinas and cones gives them exception light sensitivity and as a result bright colors (like pink) and shine and glare are a duck hunter’s worst enemy

Now as a duck hunter, you want to ensure that you wear clothing that breaks up the silhouette of the human form.

There you should be fine if you are wearing anything or color that makes you appear like a tree, bush or brush.

However if you plan on  hunting ducks or any other birds in that family, then you want to avoid the color pink.

These birds have very sharp eyesight and will spot you from a mile away while coming.

One thing I will advise you to do if you must wear pink is to invest in some form of color blinds.

Or better still simply opt for non pink camo

Can Ducks See in The Dark?

Another question that keeps coming up is whether ducks have good night vision

The answer is No. ducks have terrible night vision and cannot see in the dark.

When it comes to daytime and light, ducks have very good daytime vision and can see predators and danger from a mile away.

But they do not have good or sensitive night vision which is why most times ducks are usually preyed upon at night.

And like I said earlier, they have cones in their eyes which humans do not have that allows them to see ultraviolet radiation.

To an extent, this allows them to detect danger and avoid predators even at night.

How Good is a Duck’s Eyesight?

Ducks have excellent vision and can clearly see very far.

Ducks are always watching and waiting and you can never sneak up on an adult duck.

This is because a duck’s eyes are located on the side of it’s head which gives it a vision of almost 360 degrees.

So if you try sneaking up on a duck it will definitely see you coming.

This is why duck hunters are advised to stand perfectly still and totally camouflaged while waiting to shoot.

Another thing to note, which I mentioned in this article on how smart ducks are, is that ducks have been known to sleep with one eye open.

While sleeping with one eye open, they shut down half their brain while the other eye is open on the lookout for predators and danger.

I mean if you can sleep with one eye open and still see danger coming then you must simply have excellent vision.

Do Ducks Have 360 Vision?

Whether it is flying, sitting or sleeping, ducks require their sense of vision more than any other.

The structure of their eyes allows them to see fine detail and farther than humans can ever see.

They also can see a broader spectrum of colors – which usually spans from near ultraviolet to red than most humans can.

Because their eyes are located on the sides of the heads, ducks have panoramic or 360 vision.

Meaning that they can see danger or predators coming from any side of the view.

Pretty cool right – but this comes with a disadvantage

They have reduced depth perception

What this means is that they cannot really tell how far away a person or object

They can see you out there alright, but they cannot tell how far or how close a person is to them.

Ducks make up for this by moving their head rapidly from side to side, which allows them to observe an object with one eye from two different angles in quick succession, which creates a three dimensional picture.

You can read more about this from this awesome article here

Can Ducks See Underwater?

Yes ducks can see perfectly underwater.

Ducks hunt by sight underwater and this is one of the ways they feed and look for food for their young ones.

And they can remain underwater for at least 60 seconds before coming up for air

One unique thing about ducks is that they have a third eyelid, more like swimming goggles or contact lenses which allows them to squint and see clearly underwater.

Among the diving ducks, they can also change the shape of their eyes while underwater which helps them see clearly and feed better.


Ducks are not colorblind

They have excellent vision and eyesight that helps them see predators and danger from afar.

They also have unique eyesight that allows them see vibrant range of colors and ultraviolet radiation

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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