Are Pheasants Colorblind? (Answered)

by Chukay Alex
Updated on

Pheasants are endlessly intriguing to watch, whether you’re raising them commercially or as pets.

While we may never fully comprehend some of their odd behaviors or what makes them tick, it doesn’t mean that we can’t better understand how these birds perceive the world.

As a result, people are becoming more interested in these game birds, and inquiries such as are pheasants colorblind are becoming more prevalent.

However, pheasants are not color blind; they actually have excellent eyesight as well as good hearing.

Are Pheasants Colorblind?

Are Pheasants Colorblind

Pheasants are not color blind. In actual fact, they have a greater spectrum of color perception than we do.

As humans, our eyes have three types of cones that detect color: blue, green, and red, as well as variants of these colors.

On the other hand, pheasants have five cones—one that is capable of sensing violet light (ultraviolet light) and another which is supposed to aid them in detecting motion (double cone).

They perceive a larger variety of colors than we can and are better at detecting motion than we are.

This is how they are able to see those tiny insects when we cannot. 

Related: Here is an article I wrote on best feeders for pheasants

How Good Is A Pheasant’s Eyesight?

Pheasant’s eyesight is incredible! They see in color better than humans, can detect and discern light and color shades better than humans, have three eyelids, can move each eye independently, and have a range of vision of 300 degrees without rotating their heads. 

The way this bird sees us is similar to how humans also see.  Pheasants see in a similar fashion to humans.

They are capable of detecting and fleeing predators at a very fast speed. However, pheasants do not have night vision. 

They can’t see in the dark.

Can Pheasants See Color?

Yes, they are capable of seeing color. They have four types of cones that enable them to see red, blue, green, and ultraviolet light.

As a result, they perceive many more hues and tones than we do. Due to the sensitivity of their eyes, they can detect minute light

Can Pheasants See In The Dark?

It’s common knowledge that quite a lot of birds fly throughout the day and roost at night.

While pheasants have superior color vision, they lack excellent night vision. However, they can detect light and darkness via the pineal gland.

The pineal gland, located above the midbrain behind the eyes, enables pheasants to detect both daylight and seasonal changes.

So, as the day winds down and the sky darkens, the chickens feel that it is time to return home — to the warmth and protection of the coop.

Do Pheasants Have A 360 Degrees Vision?

No pheasant lacks 360-degree vision.

Due to the fact that their eyes are on the sides of their heads rather than the front, they have a 300-degree field of vision without moving their heads, compared to a human’s 180-degree range of vision.

Additionally, a pheasant’s monocular vision enables it to use each eye independently on separate tasks concurrently.

Along with the upper and lower eyelids found in humans, pheasants have a third eyelid termed a nictating eyelid that moves horizontally across their eye rather than up or down.

Because this membrane is translucent, pheasants frequently close their nictating eyelids while dust bathing or foraging in the soil to keep material out of their eyes while still keeping an eye out for predators or other danger.

Also check out this article I wrote on pheasants living with ducks

Can Pheasants See Underwater?

Pheasants are quite different from ducks, although they have great eyesight, it’s not built for underwater sight.

Therefore, not all species of these birds can swim. Some do not like going into the water.

They can go near it to drink but never inside, while some like going in, especially those living close to a water body.

However, their eyes make it easy to detect between a shallow and deep place.

Can A Pheasant Go Blind?

While blindness is not a typical occurrence in domesticated birds, it is possible for them to get an eye injury, conjunctivitis, or even go fully blind for various causes.

The following are some of the possible causes of blindness in domesticated birds:

  • On rare occasions, poult might hatch blind or without eyes.
  • Certain strains of Marek’s illness can cause the bird’s eye to turn grey, rendering it partially or fully blind.
  • Ammonia levels created by droppings left in the coop without enough ventilation might cause damage to the cornea of the eye. Generally, it will not recover, even if the conditions are altered. Ammonia is quite odoriferous; thus, place your head inside the coop first thing in the morning to ensure you cannot smell it. This problem can be avoided by providing adequate ventilation and cleaning and avoiding overcrowding the birds.
  • Scratches and physical trauma to the eye.
  • Upper respiratory tract infections – Sinusitis and Mycoplasma Gallisepticum can also result in a secondary infection affecting the eye. 

Can Pheasants See Humans?

Perfectly. They have excellent eyesight, which enables them to notice movement from afar, which is why people occasionally complain about pheasants attacking them.

In truth, the bird is simply scaring you away. This appears to be offensive behavior, but it is actually defensive.

To be sure, on the birds’ part. They are likely to attack you if you are carrying any food that attracts them.

Animals possess an amazing sense of smell. This enables them to perceive their feeds from afar.

Furthermore, the fact that they can see humans allows them to hide when hunters are around except the stubborn one who doesn’t mind attacking people. 


They, unlike several other domestic pets and animals, are not colorblind. They have superb vision, but only during daytime hours.

This bird’s eyesight makes it easy to see a variety of colors, which comes in handy, especially when the sea predators.

Pheasants have minimal night vision.

It’s not a concern because hens are pretty content to remain in their coop overnight, but it’s something to consider if they’re ever free-ranging as dusk approaches.

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About the author

Chukay Alex

Chukay is a season writer and farmer who enjoys farming and growing plants in his backyard farm. When he is not farming you can find him at the nearest lawn tennis court, hitting a mean backhand down the line.


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