What The Pigeon Sees

Field of View diagram: pigeon and owl (illustration from Wikimedia Commons)
Field of View diagram: pigeon and owl (illustration from Wikimedia Commons)

How does a pigeon avoid being lunch for a peregrine falcon?

He flies fast, he stays in a flock for protection, and he (quite literally!) keeps an eye out for danger.

Pigeons have such a wide field of view that they can see danger coming from almost any direction.  There’s only a narrow place in front of them where both eyes focus and a narrow blind spot in the back.   Pigeons are not alone. Many prey species have a wide field of view.

This is hard for us to imagine because our eyesight is like the raptor’s but raptors seem to know how it works.  When a peregrine wants to sneak up on a pigeon he flies in the pigeon’s blind spot.

Read more about what the pigeon sees in this vintage article:  Anatomy: Field of View

 

(illustration from Wikimedia Commons; click on the image to see the original)

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