Can Hummingbirds See At Night? The Most Amazing Facts About The Anatomy Of Their Eye

Last Updated on June 6, 2022 by Guillermina

Can hummingbirds see at night? Stay with us and find out.

Hummingbirds are truly one of the most amazing creatures on the entire planet. The sight of their small, colorful bodies as well as rapidly beating wings is a common one around flowers, plants, and feeders. In general, you will rarely see a hummingbird resting during the day.

Numerous experts claim that these birds have the most amazing vision that helps them find food and stay away from predators. However, have you ever wondered can hummingbirds see at night? Therefore, let’s look at the anatomy of their eyes and how it actually works.

What Is The Anatomy Of A Hummingbird’s Eye?

Before we answer the question “can hummingbirds see at night,” we’ll tell you a few of the most important things about the anatomy of their eyes.

The eyes of these little creatures are quite similar to human ones; they also have lenses, corneas, and retinas. The biggest difference is that birds have eyes that are bigger than human eyes. Did you know that many songbirds have eyes as big as their brains? Amazing isn’t it?

In addition, we must note that the bird’s eye is also similar to the eye of reptiles, but they are much flatter and their lenses are moved forward which directly affects the increase in image size that the retina can see. Furthermore, their pupils are quite large which consequently allows more light to enter the eye and thus allows them to see much better than most humans in the dark.

Experts also point out that hummingbirds can see colors that people can only imagine, or better yet, can’t even imagine. They are tetrachromats which basically means that they can see four color spectrums and these would be green, blue, red, and UV. On the other hand, people cannot distinguish UV colors.

This is what allows hummingbirds, but also many other birds to see tiny insects often miles away. We must also mention that there are many differences between male and female hummingbirds and that females can exhibit many different ultraviolet colors, in some cases even better than males.

 Do hummingbirds come out in the dark?

Are Hummingbirds Nocturnal Or Diurnal Birds?

To answer the question “can hummingbirds see at night”, it is necessary to first determine to which category these birds belong.

Diurnal birds are active during the day and can see even during the night, however, their night vision isn’t nearly as good as that of nocturnal birds. On the other hand, nocturnal birds are awake and active during the night and in that period perform almost all activities from hunting to mating and raising young. That is why their vision is incomparably better than the vision of the diurnal birds.

Many are wondering why this is so, so we will briefly explain it to you. The bird’s eye has two light receptors, rods and cones. Nocturnal birds have more rods than cones which are highly sensitive to low light conditions. On the other hand, diurnal birds have more cones than rods, but can still see far better than humans in the dark.

Hummingbirds belong to the group of diurnal birds, which actually means that they are active during the day and sleep at night. Also, we must not forget to say that a large proportion of hummingbird moths are nocturnal, although some are active during the day.

Now is the time to give a final answer to the question “can hummingbirds see at night”, therefore keep reading.

Find out more about their vision in this article.

Question Of The Day: Can Hummingbirds See At Night?

Hummingbirds do not have good night vision, truth be told it is not strange because they are diurnal birds. In addition, there are no other special reasons that affect their impaired vision.

If you notice them playing, flying, or eating during the night, it’s either around artificial lighting or while migrating over the open ocean. These are actually the only two situations that do not require overly good eyesight.

Mother hummingbirds are quite protective during the night and do not leave their nests because their proximity warms the eggs and protects the young.

We must certainly note that poor eyesight is not the only reason why these birds do not fly often after sunset, namely hummingbirds are particularly sensitive to cold, and can die if they are exposed to low temperatures for too long.

Now you know the answer to the question “can hummingbirds see at night”, and we have fulfilled our mission.

To Wrap Things Up

Most nocturnal birds have excellent night vision, and this is primarily because their eyes contain many light receptor rods. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for diurnal birds. However, we must point out that even diurnal birds, although visually impaired after sunset, can still see far better than humans during the night hours.

 Do hummingbirds go to sleep at night?

So let’s repeat what we learned: can hummingbirds see at night? Being diurnal birds, hummingbirds do not have very good night vision, but that does not mean they are blind.

Have you ever come across a hummingbird flying in the dark? If you have any questions, please contact us in the section below.

Read more: Are Hummingbirds Colorblind? Mind-Blowing Research Results On Over 6,000 Bird Feeders


What Does It Mean When You See A Hummingbird At Night?

Hummingbirds are believed to be spiritual beings so their visit always has a deep meaning. According to some beliefs, if you notice them at night, it actually means that you will have an encounter with someone who will bring you joy and happiness.

Do Hummingbirds Come Out In The Dark?

Hummingbirds rarely come out at night for no reason, primarily because the cold does not suit them at all. However, this does not mean that there is no chance that you will ever see them after sunset because there are two situations in which they decide to leave their hiding place, and that is either around artificial lighting or while moving across the open ocean.

Do Hummingbirds Go To Sleep At Night?

That's right, hummingbirds rest and sleep through the night.

What Does It Mean If A Hummingbird Visits You?

If a hummingbird comes to visit you, it usually brings you good news or wants to tell you that new and unpredictable joys are only a few moments away.