Eyes


Eyelid
The bird's eyelid closes over the eye from the bottom to the top, opposite of how the human eyelid covers from the top to the bottom. This is an individual Red-Tail Hawk who is falling asleep. Sometimes a half-closed eye may mark an individual who is sick or unwell, or may just be falling asleep.
Raptor eye image




Nictitating membrane
Raptors also have a nictitating membrane that closes over the eye separately from the eye lid. It passes from the inner corner of the eye out to the outer edge and appears to be a dullish grey.
Raptor eye image







Red-Tail - same individual
           Immature - less than one year old
                      Pale yellow-brown
Raptor eye image
           Two-Years Old
                      Color rises from the bottom and begins to turn the eye to a dark brown
Raptor eye image
           Four-Years Old
                      Color is now a solid mahogany
Raptor eye image
           Eight-Years Old
                      Color is still a solid mahogany
Raptor eye image




Cooper's Hawk
           Chick
                      Blue and then brown
Raptor eye image
Image courtesy of Lee Slikkers.
           Immature
                      Yellow
Raptor eye image
           Mature - Two year old bird
                      Orange
Raptor eye image
           Mature
                      Red Image courtesy of Steve Dickson.
Raptor eye image




Great Horned Owl
           Immature
                      Yellow
Raptor eye image
           Mature
                      Yellow
Raptor eye image Raptor eye image




Golden Eagle
           Immature
                      Golden or dark brown
           Mature
                      Golden or dark brown
Raptor eye image




Merlin
           Immature
                      Dark brown
Raptor eye image
           Mature
                      Dark brown to black




Kestrel
           Immature
                      Dark brown
Raptor eye image
           Two-Years Old
                      Dark brown to black
Raptor eye image




Prairie Falcon
           Immature
                      Dark brown
           Fourteen Years Old
                      Dark brown to black
Raptor eye image




Bald Eagle
           Immature
                      Brown or pale brown
           Mature
                      Bright pale yellow or buff
Raptor eye image




Eurasian Eagle Owl - same individual
           Eyass
                      Bright orange
Raptor eye image
           Immature
                      Bright orange
Raptor eye image
           Mature




Gyrfalcon
           Immature
                      Dark brown
           Mature
                      Dark brown to black
Raptor eye image




Goshawk
           Immature - chick
                      Blue Image courtesy of Becky Brunotte.
Raptor eye image
           Immature - brancher to first moult
                      Yellow or tan
Raptor eye image
           Mature - Two-Year Old
                      As the bird matures the eyes become orange, then red
Raptor eye image
           Mature - Seven-Year Old
                      Here the bird's eye is beginning to turn red with the top still retaining some of the murky orange color. Image courtesy of Dion Thomson.
Raptor eye image
           Mature - Seven-Year Old
                      Here the bird's eye is a solid red. Goshawks from the Southern United States typically develop more red eyes as adults than Goshawks from other genetic pools. Image courtesy of Becky Brunotte.
Raptor eye image




Osprey
           Chick
                      Osprey chicks hatch with blue eyes that change to the orange-brown shortly. This Osprey was in rehabilitation, but the color change can be seen.
Raptor eye image
           Immature
                      Immature Osprey have bright orange-brown eyes.
           Mature
                      Adult Osprey have yellow eyes.
Raptor eye image




Snowy Owl
           Immature
                      Yellow
           Mature
                      Yellow
Raptor eye image




Sharp-Shin Hawk
           Immature
                      Yellow Image courtesy of Tasha Leong.
Raptor eye image
           Mature (but not too old)
                      Orange - will become red as the bird ages
Raptor eye image








All images and text Copyright © 2004 - 2017 - Lydia Ash