which bird can see the farthest

Have you ever wondered how animals see the world? As animals have evolved more complex bodies and behaviors, their eyes have also evolved to suit their survival needs. The team at Lasik by OCLI Vision has researched the wondrous variety of animal eyes to create the ultimate guide to how animal eyesight compares to humans. To get all of these animals ranked by eyesight, we considered factors such as distance accuracy, color and light perception, field of vision, and vision speed based on flicker fusion frequency. Take a look:

It’s not a simple task to declare which animal has the best vision, as there isn’t a single clear winner. Choosing the best eyesight in the animal kingdom is complicated because every creature has developed visual qualities (or a lack thereof) to suit their survival needs. Also, a lot of factors can be involved in ranking animals’ eyesight.

If you’re considering which animal can see the farthest with the most precision, though, eagles take the crown. The eagle eye is among the sharpest and most fearsome in the animal kingdom. Eagle eyesight is estimated to be around four to eight times stronger than that of the average human. Despite eagles weighing an average of 10 pounds, their eyes are roughly the same size as human eyes. Not only does eagle vision excel at long distances, but they also have extraordinary color resolution and clarity. Eagles are capable of identifying five uniquely colored squirrel species and can locate prey even if it’s hidden. An eagle is believed to be able to spot a rabbit more than 2 miles away. As the eagle plummets from the sky to strike its prey, the muscles around its eyes continuously modify the curvature of the eyeballs to sustain sharp focus and accuracy throughout the whole process, including the attack itself.

Although many animals (especially prey animals) are equipped with panoramic vision, one of the only animals with a wider field of vision than goats and sheep is the chameleon. Chameleon eyes are capable of swiveling far enough to give them a full panoramic view of their surroundings. The chameleon field of vision is further enhanced by the ability to operate each eye independently.

In addition to chameleons, mantis shrimp, seahorses, dolphins, dragonflies, and some bird species, such as grackles, can move their eyes individually.

It’s believed that sharks have the best underwater vision. It’s estimated that shark eyesight underwater is around ten times better than that of humans.

In ideal conditions, sharks can see around 30 to 50 feet ahead of them, even in the darkness of the sea. Some studies have shown that they could see objects 30 yards away in clear water! Shark eyes are equipped with a reflective layer called the tapetum, which allows them to see extremely well in dim light. To make sharks even more formidable, the position of their eyes gives them nearly 360-degree vision!

Mantis shrimp are another underwater vision marvel. Some articles even describe mantis shrimp as having the best vision in the animal kingdom.

Mantis shrimp eyes are loaded with 16 photoreceptors (which is four times more than humans have)! That means that they can see more types of light than we can.

Mantis shrimp can perceive 12 channels of color, UV light, and polarized light. They are the only known animal to be able to detect circularly polarized light (often seen in bioluminescence and in reflections off of iridescent surfaces like bubbles, opals, and beetle shells). Some scientists believe that the shrimp may use circularly polarized light as a secret communication system.

Mantis shrimp are among the animals that see the most color, but there are other creatures that enjoy a dazzling kaleidoscope of pigments, too. Some species of dragonflies can see up to 30 different colors. They are also the animal that sees the fastest, perceiving the world at up to 300 frames per second! Honeybees also have great color vision and the fastest color vision in the animal kingdom. They can interpret colors five times faster than humans can. To bees, flower petals appear to sparkle and shift color, which signals an abundance of sugar to harvest.

It’s believed that dog vision is about 20/75, which means they must be 20 feet from an object to see it as well as a human standing 75 feet away would.

Dog eyesight is limited when it comes to color vision. Dogs only have two types of cones (compared to humans’ three), so their spectrum is limited to shades of gray, brown, yellow, and blue.

Dogs take in visual information around 25 percent faster than humans do, which makes time appear to move more slowly for them. This may be because they evolved from wolves. As predators, wolves need to be able to detect the small movements of prey.

Cat vision ranges from 20/100 to 20/200, so they are rather near-sighted. They also see in a similar color range that dogs see.

Cat night vision is rather impressive — they are able to see six to eight times more in the dark than we can!

According to the National Library of Medicine, critical flicker fusion frequency is defined as “the frequency at which flickering light can be perceived as continuous, and it is used to assess the processing of temporal vision. The upper level of one’s abilities in visual processing is described as the critical flicker fusion threshold (or threshold for flicker fusion, TFF), which represents the maximum speed of flickering light that can be perceived by the visual system.” A high CFF threshold is crucial for animals that fly because they need to be able to detect rapidly approaching objects in order to avoid colliding with them.

Humans are 0/0/0 on this chart and act as a point of reference. A 100 means that the animal is the best in that field compared to any other animal of their class, except in the case of field of vision. Since many animals have 360 degrees of vision, they all get 100.

The distance measure ranks how far animals can see compared to humans. This includes the ability to see prey in the dark, spot movement, and recognize patterns and shapes from a distance. So a higher score may not necessarily mean they can see the farthest, just that their eyes are more versatile across distances than humans.

The color/light perception measure ranks how well animals see in the dark and how many colors they can perceive compared to humans. The visible spectrum humans can see falls between ultraviolet light and red light. Humans typically have three types of photo pigments in their cones: red, green, and blue. This allows them to distinguish up to 10 million colors. Up to 12% of human females have four cone types, which enables them to perceive 100 times more colors. Many birds, insects, and fish have four cones, which enables them to see ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light has shorter wavelengths than humans can perceive. Other animals, such as dogs, have fewer types and numbers of cones, which reduces how many colors they can perceive.

The field of vision measure ranks how the peripheral vision of animals compares to humans. Peripheral vision is how well you can see above, below, and to the sides of where your gaze is fixed. Eyes on the sides of the head typically allow for a wider field of vision. Prey animals and herbivores tend to have eyes on the sides of their head, enabling them to notice predators sneaking up on them. Most predators have front-facing eyes, which gives them a larger binocular visual field (where both eyes can see clearly together), helping them pinpoint and lock on prey over distances. If an animal has a field of vision of 360 degrees, they get 100 points.

Animals Ranked by Critical Flicker Fusion Rate (Threshold at Which a Blinking Light Switches From Being Perceived as Flickering vs. Continuous)

Generally speaking, a higher critical flicker fusion rate indicates that the animal is better at detecting motion. A high CFF threshold is also important for flying animals to be able to detect rapidly approaching objects to avoid collisions. Most films are displayed in 24 frames per second, which is the minimum that appears to flow realistically for humans.

3. Common bluebottle butterfly – the highest diversity of color detection in insects

which bird can see the farthest

The bluebottle butterfly or blue triangle butterfly lives in Australia.

The butterfly’s pattern resembles a bright blue triangle on a black background, as the name would imply. Given that they feed exclusively on flowers, butterflies typically have highly developed color vision. In this sense, the bluebottle butterfly differs from its relatives because:

  • The butterflies’ ommatidia have nine receptor cells each.
  • Every ommatidia is unique and has distinct pigments as well as unique properties.
  • The six classes of photoreceptors found in bluebottle butterflies are violet, ultraviolet light, red, blue, green, and blue-green.
  • In those classes, there are a total of 15 different kinds of photoreceptors.
  • The ability of butterflies to distinguish between at least three different types of ommatidia and fifteen different types of photoreceptors in their eyes is highly developed.

which bird can see the farthest

2. The common octopus – polarized vision without a blind spot

which bird can see the farthest

Regarded as one of the most advanced invertebrates, octopuses Its eight tentacles are capable of complex movements.

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Octopoda Octopodidae Octopus Octopus vulgaris

Octopi are excellent at camouflage and are effective predators. This indicates that they have the following characteristics and strong underwater vision:

  • The octopus has comparatively larger eyes, with a maximum diameter of 20 mm.
  • Octopi have single-chambered eyes with spherical lenses.
  • Compared to vertebrates, the octopus’s retina is everted and has simpler photoreceptors.
  • The octopus’s pupils are movable; they can enlarge and contract to become slits.
  • The octopus has large distinct visual fields for each eye and small binocular vision. The eyes move independently of one another.
  • The arrangement of the octopus’s retina ensures that there is no blind area for its eyes.
  • The octopus’s photoreceptors are built in a way that enables it to recognize polarized light.
  • Recent studies have shown that octopuses have very sharp eyes, similar to those of cats.
  • Despite being colorblind, octopi can see polarized light and discern color changes because of their ability to alter the shape of their iris, pupil, and photoreceptors.

which bird can see the farthest

6. Broad-tailed Hummingbird – best tetrachromatic vision

which bird can see the farthest

Tiny in size, broad-tailed hummingbirds have a long, thin beak, green and grey wings, and, in the case of males, an iridescent red breast.

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Apodiformes Trochilidae Selasphorus Selasphorus platycercus

Hummingbirds depend on color because they eat mostly the nectar of flowers. They have thus evolved to see a vast spectrum of colors:

  • They see colors beyond the normal spectrum in addition to the rainbow’s regular hues that humans perceive.
  • Hummingbird retinas have three central photoreceptors, also known as cones. Every cone is calibrated to capture the precise light wave associated with a particular color spectrum, namely blue, red, and green.
  • In addition to the standard trio of receptors, a cone exists that has the ability to identify UV radiation.
  • Because they are a combination of one or more regular spectral colors and UV light, these birds are able to see their own distinct colors.

which bird can see the farthest


What bird can see miles away?

Beginning with their cranial structure, eagles have fixed eye sockets that are “angled 30 degrees from the midline of their face.” Giving eagles a “340-degree visual field” that allows for both excellent peripheral and binocular vision. An eagle in flight can reputedly sight a rabbit two miles (or 3,2 kilometers) away.

What animal has the farthest eyesight?

Eagles have the best eyesight in the animal kingdom and can spot and focus on prey up to 2 miles away. Although eagles weigh only around 10 pounds, eagle eyes are roughly the same size as human eyes. Humans with healthy eyes have 20/20 vision, but hawks have 20/4 or 20/5 vision.

What bird has best eyesight?

The Australian wedge-tailed eagle has enormous eyes, both in absolute terms and compared with most other birds, and as a result has the greatest visual acuity of any known animal.

Which bird has a far sight?

Eagles. All birds of prey have excellent long-distance vision, but eagles stand out. They can see clearly about eight times as far as humans can, allowing them to spot and focus in on a rabbit or other animal at a distance of about two miles.