Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes?

Pigeons are common household pets in different areas of the United States. They are soft and loving birds and vary in their body and other characteristics. The eye color also differs in various types of pigeons.

Why Do Pigeons Have Red Eyes? Pigeons’ eye color range from yellowish orange to white pearl. The red color of the iris is due to the high concentration of blood vessels and allergic reactions to the conjunctiva and eyelids. They can have red eyes due to genetic mutation, bacterial infection, and injuries.

Many birds are identified due to their specific eye color. The color of the lens varies in all kinds of birds and animals. The pigeons are unique as they can have different shades of the iris in both eyes.

What is the standard color of pigeon eyes?

The pigeons have many species, and each of them is unique in its characteristics. The eye color also differs in different species of this bird. On average, pigeons can have a yellowish orange or white pearl iris in the eyes.

Most of the species have orange or white color eyes. Some species can also have dark brown or black eyes. The color of the iris is different due to the presence of different pigments in the eyes.

They usually have two types of pigments pteridine and guanidine. The pteridine is responsible for orange yellowish color in the iris.

The guanidines deposit white color in the eye’s lenses. The eye color also depends upon the age, race, and health condition of these species.

Why does a pigeon have red eyes?

Pigeons do not have any specific pigment for the red color in the eyes. The red color is due to many other reasons. Here is a brief description of all of them.

Blood vessels around the iris

The blood vessels around the iris also make the eyes appear reddish. The red color is not due to the pigmentation and genetic makeup of the bird. The higher concentration of blood vessels causes the eyes to appear red.

These vessels play a role in determining the color of the eyes. Fewer vessels cause the color of the eyes to appear pink or yellowish. The presence of deep red blood in the veins also causes the eyes of pigeons to become reddish.

The vessels get dilated due to many factors and cause the iris and lens to become deep red. The redness of the eyed due to blood vessels can vary in all pigeons of the same species.

Allergic reactions

They are sensitive birds. They are hypersensitive to various things like edibles, dust, and air pollution. Spores, mildew, and dust in the air can cause irritation in sensitive areas of the eyes like the cornea and pupil.

Exposure to any allergen can cause allergic reactions in them. The allergic reaction can cause inflammation of the conjunctiva and eyelids.

A runny and swollen nose is another symptom of an allergic reaction in birds. The allergy can also affect the eye and blood vessels surrounding it.

When you see redness in the pigeon’s eyes and swollen eyelids, it can be due to an allergic reaction. In such a situation, it is not normal and can indicate serious issues. You have to consult any veterinary specialist to treat the pigeons.


The red eyes also indicate a health problem in birds. They are susceptible to get red eye disease due to many reasons. These birds can get ophthalmitis due to bacterial infection. This infection can cause the eyes to become red.

The vessels become prominent, and the eyelid is red from both sides. The conjunctiva can have puss around it.

The conjunctiva and eyelid are both inflamed with a white discharge. Pigeons can also suffer from nasal discharge and respiratory tract infections.

This infection can have a drastic effect on the daily life of these birds. Clear vision is crucial for their flight and other activities. You should consult professional help to get rid of this infection.

Genetic mutation

The iris color is also determined by genetic makeup. The genetic code of eye color is transferred from the parents to the offspring. The genetic code consists of two chromosomes to determine the color of the iris.

Any change in the genetic information transferred to the next generation can cause the color of the eyes to change.

The rare red colors on pigeons can also be due to mutation in the genetic makeup of the bird. It is a rare condition in birds and causes variation in all characteristics among the same species.

There is nothing to worry about in such a situation. It will not harm the health and well-being of birds in any way.

The red color is also due to the breeding of two different species of pigeons. The variation in the genetic information due to parents of different species can cause eye color to change.


Injuries or physical trauma to the eyes or head can also cause redness of the iris. The injuries can happen during flying or falling to the ground. The wounds around the eyes cause a deep red color to appear in the eyes.

The blood vessels surrounding the iris can get ruptured. The leakage of blood from the vessels can cause the eyes to become red.

It can be due to trauma and cause swelling and inflammation in the eyelids.

Do pigeons change their eye color?

Yes, they change eye color as they start to age. The color change is not noticeable because we cannot see baby pigeons. We can look at them in the juvenile stage, which is similar to the adulthood phase.

They have one eye color at one phase of life and another color at another phase of life. The baby birds have dark brown or grey eyes. The adult bird can have yellowish-orange color in the iris.

Baby pigeons have underdeveloped systems and organs. Their all systems and body part grow and change in appearance as they age. The eye color starts to change when the baby pigeons open their eyes.

Usually, a newly hatched bird opens its eyes after 4 to 5 days. The iris color differs due to changes in the structure and type of pigments present in the eyes.

The lifestyle also impacts the growth and development of eye pigments in these birds. As they grow older, the eye color starts changing due to modifications in the blood vessels and vision capacity.

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