An eagle can snatch a rabbit off the ground from hundreds of feet in the air, and we can’t even grab a glass from a table without knocking it over. The way birds see the world is entirely different than we do. Scientists have an answer to how birds see the world.

Cynthia Tedore and Dan-Eric Nilsson mimicked bird vision using a multispectral camera while working on a paper titled “Avian UV vision enhances leaf surface contrasts in forest environments.”

Humans can’t see the UV spectrum at all, but the vision of birds is more sensitive in the UV spectrum.


Humans vs. birds’ vision in terms of spectrum.

You can see the human range compared to the bird in the graph. Birds see red, green, blue, and UV. The only colors that we humans can see are red, green, and blue. Technically, UV light has no color and bright pink was only chosen for visual representation.

In 2007, scientists were able to analyze the colors of 166 North American songbird species that did not appear to have physical differences between the two sexes. Even though the male and female birds look the same, their colors are vastly different when viewed in the UV spectrum.

Scientists placed male and female stuffed dummies in the wild to see how the birds would react to them. The birds were able to see something the scientists didn’t because they attacked the stuffed male and female.


Here’s what people had to say about the birds’ vision.