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Can Ducks See Color? Can Ducks See in the Dark? (Explained)

Numerous species of waterfowl in the Anatidae family are commonly known as ducks. Ducks are generally shorter in neck length than swan and geese and they are mostly aquatic.

There is a major curiosity regarding whether ducks can see color. This article will provide an in-depth answer and offer you deep insights into the eyesight of ducks and their color sensing capability.

Can ducks see color? Can ducks see in the dark?

Ducks can see color. They can vibrantly perceive reds, greens, yellows, blues color and have excellent daylight vision. But ducks are terrible in light-sensing at night and processing the color in the dark. That’s why they can’t see in the dark. For this, it is easier to prey on ducks at night.

Ducks can see color in the daytime. But their color sensing capability and eye mechanisms are somewhat different than humans. Ducks see some colors vibrantly than the others. Red, green, yellow, and blue colors are readily perceived by the eye of ducks.

A duck’s eyes can see through four to five times a far than humans.

Ducks have powerful eye muscles to control the curvature of corneas and lenses. The manipulation in the curvature of corneas and lenses enables them to see through farther than humans.

But ducks can’t see properly in the dark. They don’t have enough night light-sensing cells that will detect and analyze light in the dark. The impaired night vision of ducks also makes them vulnerable.

Are ducks colorblind?

Ducks are not colorblind. But their eye-sight mechanism is different than humans. They perceive colors differently than humans do. Ducks can see reds, greens, blues, and yellows with more intensity of light than humans.

But ducks don’t perceive all colors equally. Some colors are less vivid than others from a duck’s point of view. But that doesn’t mean ducks are color blind. Ducks have strong daytime eye-sights and they can see and perceive afar with their eyes than the humans.

Moreover, ducks can detect and see ultraviolet light frequency through their eyes. This makes the duck eyes special than most other animals.

What colors can ducks see?

Ducks have pretty strong daytime eye-sight. Ducks can see with more color intensity in the daytime period. The millions of rod and cone sensors located in waterfowl’s eyes enable them to see a wide variety of colors. The colors duck can see are listed hereafter­


Ducks can detect and sense black color. But ducks can’t see the black color like we humans do. They perceive colors differently.


Ducks can see orange color in an obscure shape. The light receptors located into the duck’s eyes sense some colors more vividly than others.


Ducks can detect and see red color vibrantly. Ducks have cone cells in their retinas. Cones are specialized retina cells to detect red light in the daytime.


Ducks can see green color. The cone cells present in the eyes of the duck easily sense the green light frequency. The light-sensing cells into the waterfowl’s eye intensify the color and produce vibrant color.


Ducks can perceive blue color with more intensity. Ducks have specially evolved cone cells to see blue color more readily.

Ultraviolet Ray:

Ducks can even sense ultraviolet rays. Ducks have specialized eye cells that can detect ultraviolet radiation.

What is a duck’s favorite color?

Duck’s favorite color is green as they have a predilection towards the green color. Ducks can sense green color with more intensity because of myriad cone sensors present in the retinas. Ducks feel joyful when their eyes sense green color.

Ducks also like the blue color and the neighboring color spectrums around the green. It has shown that ducks barely exhibit any preferences towards other colors than greens and blues.

Scientists have examined that, electromagnetic frequency inside the mind of a duck positively changes when green and blue colors are shown to them.

How do ducks see colors?

Duck can sense daytime light pretty well. Retinas are light-sensing portions inside the eyes that absorb and analyze the light frequencies. Ducks have well-developed cone light-sensing cells inside the retinas.

Rod cells are specialized in sensing night light and cone cells are evolved to perceive daytime light. Ducks have powerful cone cells that help them to see a wide range of color pallets including greens, reds, yellows, and blues in the daytime.

Cone cells present in the waterfowl’s retinas can see and analyze not only the color of a structure but those can detect the shape of a human being.

Can ducks see in the dark?

Ducks can’t see properly in the dark. Ducks have poorly developed rod cells and hence they can’t detect light in the dark. Ducks have egregious night vision. Waterfowl have powerful retinas inside the eyes to detect a wide range of color patterns in the daytime.

Ducks have very developed cone cells, those light sensors work to detect light in the daytime. A large set of colors are perceived and analyzed by the color-receptive cones.

Those highly developed biological sensors are pretty good at analyzing the colors of a structure and even humans.

But this evolutionary advantage comes with a trade-off cost, their poor night vision. Ducks have a low amount of rod cells than the number of cone cells. Rod cells can detect light in black and white color at night.

The lower amount of rod cells into the retinas have impaired the nighttime light detection capability of the duck. That’s why ducks can’t see in the dark.

The night-vision capability of species of ducks are mentioned here –

Pekin ducks:

American white Pekin ducks have poor night vision ability and they can’t see in the dark. They have a lesser amount of rod cells compared to their cone cells.

Muscovy ducks:

Muscovy ducks are domesticated American animals and they are also terrible at seeing in the dark.

Baby ducks:

Baby ducks can’t see clearly in the dark. Similar to other ducks, baby ducks also have poorly developed night light detection ability.

Domestic ducks:

The majority of the ducks are domestic. They have great eye-sight for daytime. But domestic ducks also can’t properly see in the dark.

Wood ducks:

Wood ducks can’t properly detect light in the dark. But like most other ducks, they do have great daytime light sensing capability. 

Are ducks night blind?

Ducks are not entirely night blight. But they can’t properly detect light in the dark. Ducks have a lesser amount of rod cells in the retinas. Rod cells detect light in the night and they perceive colors in black and white form.

Ducks don’t have enough rod cells to process the lights absorbed in the dark. Their impaired night sight vision makes them vulnerable. That’s why huntsman usually hunts ducks at night time. Predatory animals also take advantage of the obscure vision of ducks in the dark.

Do ducks have good eyesight at night?

Ducks don’t have good eyesight at night. They have impaired night vision because of the lesser rod cells in the retinas. Retinas in the eyes sense light from the environment. Rod cells detect light in the dark.

Due to the lower amount of rod cells in the retinas, ducks don’t see well in the dark. Rod cells also analyze the light color. Ducks can poorly see the surroundings in black and white color at night. Their impaired night vision put them at risk to predatory animals and hunters.

How good is a duck’s eyesight?

Duck’s eyesight is impaired at night. But duck has great light sensing capability in the daytime. Ducks have vast amounts of cone cells into their retinas of eyes. Those cone cells detect and analyze daytime light. Ducks can see greens, reds, blues, and yellows vibrantly.

But ducks don’t have good eyesight for the night periods. They can’t see well in the dark. Ducks can analyze color pallets and shapes due to the increased number of cone cells. But they traded off the color and shape recognizing ability with their capability of night vision.

What does a duck’s vision look like?

Ducks see differently than we humans do. Ducks can perceive vibrant colors such as green, yellow, red, blue. Ducks recognize the color pallets and shape of an object using their advanced cone cells.

The duck’s eyes are located on both sides of the head. And for this reason, they have around 340 degrees of field vision.

Duck’s eye can also cover a wide range of areas. Ducks can see farther in distance than humans. Ducks have stronger eye muscles and that’s why they can control the curvature of both corneas and lenses. This enables them to see afar than the other animals.

Final thoughts

Ducks can see red, green, yellow, blue colors vibrantly in the daytime. Their improved cone cells enable them to distinguish between color pallets and structural shapes.  But ducks have poor light-sensing capabilities in the dark. They can barely detect colors at night time.