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Is Your Night Vision as Good as an Owl's?

Can an owl really see better than you at night?

long-eared owl
(Photo courtesy of Paul Dacko)

Try this owl eyes’ experiment and shed some light on your night vision.

What You'll Need:

  • Binoculars

When it's almost dark, right after sunset, go outside and try your best to see. Make sure you go to an area where there are no outdoor lights. Pay attention to how much you can see.

Can you see the shape of a tree, house, or an animal moving?

Now, look through the binoculars at the same things. Can you see better?

You should be able to see better through the binoculars because they let more light into your eyes. However, even with binoculars, you are no match for an owl.

Owls' eyes take in about 100 times more light than yours. It is as if they have super power binoculars as eyes. They need those eyes to see a mouse hiding in leaves 50 yards away on a dark cloudy night. Without such powerful eyesight, owls would starve.


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