Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes? Explained in 2024

Pigeons have normal eye colors varying from orange to red. Moreover, it’s not the eye with the red color itself but blood vessels. The more blood vessels there is the increased possibility of red eyes.

Why Do Pigeons Have Red eye

Visual Capabilities of Pigeon

Pigeons rely on their vision because it is the source of their healthy living. They can’t function well without it. They have been bestowed with more excellent vision and are sharper than humans.

pigeons have excellent visual capabilities

Pigeons are known to have great optical mechanisms than humans. Their eyes weigh half of their brain. In addition, the significant part is pigeons can see ultraviolet light, which humans can’t see.

The unique characteristic of pigeons is they have a 360-degree vision. It means they can watch all around their surroundings without tilting or moving their eyes.

Reasons Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes?

Red eye pigeon

The red pigmentation of pigeons’ iris depends upon the density of blood vessels. Two points relating to blood vessels contribute a great deal to determining the redness factor of the eyes:

  • Number of blood vessels
  • Deepness of red color in blood vessels

If both factors are greater in measurement, pigeons may have red eyes. If the blood vessel numbers are lesser around the iris, the color appears orange.

What Is a Red Eye?

A bacterial infection like Ophthalmitis causes the redness of the eyes and puss in the conjunctiva along with inflammation in birds. Most of the time, birds dealing with red eyes also experience nasal discharge and respiratory tract infections.

The red color of the iris is normal for some birds, but apart from that, if the bird is dealing with swelling and reddening of the eye, it indicates the gravity of seriousness and should be taken into account quickly.

Apart from the iris, if the pigeon’s inner or outer eye part is showing redness, then it may be possible that the bird is dealing with light sensitivity and pain.

In this condition, pigeons will be more likely to keep their eyes close to avoid light. Aside from the normal red-pigmented iris, if your pigeon has red eyes and you wonder why do pigeons have red eyes? The possible causes are infections, traumas, and allergies.

If pigeons are exposed to smoke, dust, and even mold, it can cause swelling of the conjunctiva leading to redness of the eye. To protect your domestic pigeons from red eyes, provide them with an environment free of dust and mold.

Veterinarians also recommend keeping birds away from the smoke of cigarettes because it causes a great deal of damage.


If the redness lasts longer than 24 hours, it is recommended to make your appointment with a veterinarian. The antibiotic eye drop could be prescribed to relieve pain and decrease redness and inflammation of the eyes.

Eye Colors of Pigeons

No doubt, eye color is the distinguishing feature of pigeons. The eye color of pigeons varies according to their genes. The colors of pigeons’ eyes can be orange, pink, brown, and even grey. However, the mutation occurs in some cases and causes pigeons to have cracked and bull eyes. To understand this deeply, let’s dig into some more information!!

Orange or Red eye

Orange eye pigeon

Orange and red eyes can be seen primarily in pigeons. This is mainly due to genetics. It happens when parents transfer eye color to babies. The orange or red-eye color depends upon the blood vessel’s density surrounding the iris.

Iris’s color is usually white or yellow. If there are more blood vessels around the iris, it will appear red. However, the pigeon’s eye will show orange to yellow ( through the iris) if fewer blood vessels are present around the iris.

Moreover, the deeper the color of the blood vessels, the redder the eye appears, giving a good understanding of why pigeons have red eyes.

Pink eyes

Pigeons with Albinism have pink eyes. The condition in which low production of pigments occurs causes the body color to change to pink or white affecting eye color. The albino pigeons would have pink eyes, ivory claws, and beaks with white feathers.

Moreover, a pigeon might have pink eye if it has fewer blood vessels around the iris colored white, which will reflect the pink color of the eye.

Grey or Brown eye

Baby pigeons have eyes that are grey or brown. They often remain in the nest for a more extended period than any other bird. And that is the reason by the time they began to take up to the sky, they developed a lot more similarities to adult pigeons.

The prominent feature differentiating juvenile pigeons from older pigeons is their brown or grey eye color. The eye color will likely change when the pigeon grows older.

Bull eyes

The bull eye of pigeon occurs when there are two or more mutations – the condition known as piebald. Mainly the pigeons having bull eyes also constitute a pied white head because of deficiency of pigments in white areas.

When the iris is transparent, the eye color appears black because of the inner black color shining through the iris – thus resulting in bull eyes.

Cracked eyes

The other result of mutation is cracked eyes. In this condition, orange or yellow pigments are mixed with black and appear in the pigeon’s eyes. The pigeon breed of pencil rollers is more prone to cracked eyes.

The pigeons with white feathers surrounding the eyes usually have less or no production of pigment cells in the iris. In the absence of any pigments, cells in the iris, black pigments would appear.


The prominent reason pigeons have red eyes is blood vessels around the iris. Apart from that, if you see pigeons suffering from red eyes, it could be due to allergies to smoke or cigarettes, infections, or trauma. The pigeons would have different eye colors to give you a good idea of understanding their features.

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