Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes

Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes? Everything You Need To Know

Color varieties in eyes are fascinating beauty for both humans and animals. Sometimes pigeons can have eye color of red pigmentation that is really beautiful, but that may not seem always.

Then why do pigeons have red eyes? The eyes of pigeons are not red as a whole rather, the iris has a red pigmentation. The redness depends on the blood vessels. But sometimes conjunctivitis can also cause redness in the pigeon’s eyes. Allergies and trauma to the eyes can cause red eyes as well.

Keep reading to learn about a pigeon’s red eye, mutations and how they get it. Also, we have talked about how to take care of a pigeon’s eyes as well.

Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes?

As mentioned in the beginning, pigeons have red eyes because of their blood vessels, conjunctivitis, allergies, or trauma. Below we will talk about them in detail.

Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes

1. Color Of Blood Vessels

The color red comes from the pigmentation of a pigeon’s iris which depends on the blood vessels density. Now blood vessels depend on two significant factors that contribute hugely to the redness of the eyes. The factors are:

  • Depth of red color in the blood vessels
  • Amount of blood vessels

If the measurements of both factors are significantly higher, that’s when you see the red eyes of pigeons. But when the blood vessels around the iris reduce in number, the colors of the pigeon’s eyes appear orange.

2. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an infection caused by bacteria, which can cause inflammation of red eyes and puss in a pigeonons’ conjunctiva. Respiratory tract infection and nasal discharge are symptoms that birds with conjunctivitis show.

Most of the time red color of the iris of pigeons is not a problem. Because it happens due to the blood vessels around their eyes. But pigeons with fewer blood vessels and who usually have orange color turn red, which can be severe.

Pigeons Have Red Eyes

It may be that the pigeon has been dealing with redding and swelling. The redness and swelling indicate the gravity of the disease, and you should treat it as soon as possible.

So, if you notice any redness on the outer or inner parts of the eyes, your pigeon is in pain and has light sensitivity problems. Because of this condition, pigeons generally keep their eyes closed to avoid light.

3. Allergies

Similar to infections like conjunctivitis, pigeons can get red eyes due to mold, smoke, or even dust. The allergens cause the conjunctiva to swell, leading to red eyes. If you wish to keep your pet pigeons safe from those allergens, keep the environment of your pigeon clean and mold-free.

That is why veterinarians suggest keeping the pigeons away from cigarette smoke which can harm the pigeons a lot.

Pigeons Allergies

4. Trauma

Apart from blood vessels, the conjunctiva or allergies, there is another thing that may cause red eyes in pigeons. That is trauma. If your pigeon bumps into something, or maybe its eyes get hit by something, it can cause trauma. Because of this, the points where it got hurt will turn red.

Mutation In Pigeons Eyes

Other than the color of pigeon eyes, they can have patterns or abnormalities in either eye or both. We are well aware of the power of genetics, which is also the cause of the anomalies in a pigeon’s eyes. But genetics are the cause of colors, but mutations bring variance in their eyes.

Mutations can cause the eyes of a pigeon to look cracked where the pigment reaches a part of a pigeon’s eyes. This creates a distinction to show the color difference inside the eyes.

Mutation In Pigeons Eyes

Accordingly, mutations can also cause a bull eye. When this mutation occurs, the iris turns black, so the entire eye of the pigeon looks black. Green or brown eyes can also be seen due to a mutation of genetics. 

Mutations may be small, and they might not be noticeable, and you may need to look up close to see them. Other times they might be clear as day. The good thing is that mutations don’t interfere with their eyesight.

Taking Care Of A Pigeons Eyes

Pigeons have a great vision which is even better than humans. They can even see UV, which makes their eyesight even more valuable. So, if you are a pigeon owner, you must keep your pigeon’s eyes in top shape.

Taking Care Of A Pigeons Eyes

The best way to keep them in top shape is to provide them with a nutritious diet. Provide them with various vegetables, grains, seeds, fruits, and a source of protein. For instance, sunflower seeds or mealworms are great for pigeons.

Video Of Pigeons Red Eyes

Here is a video that shows the red eyes of pigeons close up.

If you’re interested in learning more about pigeon behavior and control, you might find our articles on how to keep pigeons off balconies and why do pigeons live in cities helpful. Our article on how to keep pigeons off balconies offers practical tips and advice for deterring pigeons from nesting and roosting on balconies, while our article on why do pigeons live in cities explores the ecological and social factors that have enabled pigeons to thrive in urban environments. Check them out to deepen your understanding of pigeon behavior and control.


Here are answers to some common inquiries that others have on the internet that you may have as well.

Q: Can pigeons see in the dark?

No. Unlike owls, pigeons can not see at night. So they do not have that “night vision” similar to owls. But their vision is more sensitive to light than human vision. They also can see ultraviolet (UV) range from the light spectrum.

Q: Does a pigeon have 360 vision?

Yes. A pigeon’s field of vision is close to 360 degrees, with the front portion being narrow-binocular. Also, a pigeon’s vision field is more remarkable than a horse’s field of vision. Pigeons also can process anything they see faster than human eyes.

Q: Do pigeons see in color?

Yes. They can see UV beyond a rainbow’s colors. Birds have a fascinating ability to sense the change in air pressure and can also detect the earth’s magnetic field. But that’s not all. Their vision is far greater than a human’s, and humans can only see the colors of the rainbow, but pigeons see more.  


The reasons for a pigeon having a red eye are not unknown to you anymore. If anyone asks you why do pigeons have red eyes? You can tell them the reasons. The reasons are the blood vessels around the iris, infections like conjunctivitis, allergies, and trauma.

Moreover, keep an eye out for infections and allergies if your pigeon’s eye color is orange instead of red. Those are indicators of disease on infection. Treat your pigeon at first sight of the red eye.

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