One of the pigeon\u2019s most distinctive features is its red eyes and it\u2019s all down to genetics.\n\n\n\nIf you\u2019ve ever looked closely at a pigeon, you may have noticed that they have red eyes. \n\n\n\nIn fact, pigeon eyes can range in color from orange to red and some of them may even present with white or pink eyes. \n\n\n\nKnowing more about a pigeon\u2019s genetics and indicators of health can show you whether your pet pigeon or the wild one you\u2019re watching in your yard is developed properly and whether it might be sick or in distress. \n\n\n\nKeep reading for everything you need to know about your pigeon\u2019s eyes.\n\n\n\nBaby Pigeons\n\n\n\nMany people claim they\u2019ve never seen a baby pigeon, but that probably isn\u2019t true. \n\n\n\nBaby pigeons stay in the nest much longer than most other species of birds, so by the time they leave the nest, they look much closer to how an adult pigeon appears. \n\n\n\nFor that reason, you probably have seen a baby and simply didn\u2019t know it.\n\n\n\nOne of the easiest ways to differentiate a juvenile pigeon from an adult is to look at its eye color. \n\n\n\nYoung pigeons tend to have brown or grey eyes, which will change as they get older.\n\n\n\nOrange or Yellow Irises\n\n\n\nMost pigeons have red or orange-colored eyes. \n\n\n\nThis is largely due to genetics and that\u2019s why the color is passed from parent pigeons to their babies. \n\n\n\nThe actual eye isn\u2019t red, but the color comes from the concentration of blood vessels that surround the iris of the pigeon's eye, which is usually yellow or white.\n\n\n\nThe more blood vessels a pigeon has around the iris, the redder it will look. Fewer blood vessels make the eye look more yellow or orange, which is the bird\u2019s iris showing through. \n\n\n\nThe deep color of a pigeon\u2019s blood vessels can also influence how red the eye looks.\n\n\n\nFrom a distance, most pigeon eyes look the same color, but if you look at them closer, there is quite a bit of variation.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAlso Read: Do Pigeons Blink?\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhite Irises\n\n\n\nWithout careful inspection, you\u2019re not likely to know if a pigeon has a white iris or a yellow or orange one. \n\n\n\nHowever, if you look closer, you\u2019ll see that many pigeons actually have a white iris, but their eye still appears red due to the blood vessels that surround it.\n\n\n\nWhen the iris is white, the red color may be a bit more pronounced since it\u2019s against the lighter background. \n\n\n\nAgain, the precise shade that your pigeon\u2019s eye will look depend on the concentration of blood vessels surrounding the iris so it may range from lighter to very dark.\n\n\n\nPink Eyes\n\n\n\nThe only time a pigeon will have true pink eyes is if it suffers from albinism. \n\n\n\nHowever, if the pigeon has a white iris and low concentration of blood vessels around it, it can look more of a pink color rather than red.\n\n\n\nYou will know a pigeon is an albino if it has pink eyes and has white feathers and an ivory beak and talons. \n\n\n\nThis condition, which occurs in many animals and even in humans, results from a lack of pigment production, which results in the white and pink colors of its body.\n\n\n\nGenetics of a Pigeon\u2019s Eye\n\n\n\nWhile genetics plays the biggest role in your pigeon\u2019s eye color, sometimes mutations occur and they may look different. \n\n\n\nSometimes each eye has the same mutation and sometimes it only affects one of them. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThis might be a cracked eye, in which pigment only reaches part of the eye so there\u2019s a clear distinction inside the eye where the colors differ.\n\n\n\nAnother mutation is a bull eye, which is when a pigeon\u2019s iris is black so the entire eye looks black. \n\n\n\nOther mutations may cause a pigeon\u2019s eye to look green or brown. \n\n\n\nSometimes these mutations are slight enough that you won\u2019t notice them unless you look closely and other times, they may be quite pronounced. \n\n\n\nThey don\u2019t generally interfere with a pigeon\u2019s eyesight.\n\n\n\nCaring for Your Pigeon\u2019s Eyes\n\n\n\nNow that you know why your pigeon\u2019s eyes are the color they are, you should know how to protect their eyesight. \n\n\n\nPigeons generally have great vision and can see ultraviolet light. \n\n\n\nThis is why pigeons are often used in missions of the search and rescue variety.\n\n\n\nThe best way to ensure healthy vision for your pigeon is to provide it with a nutritious diet that contains a protein source, seeds, grains and fruits and vegetables. \n\n\n\nPremixed seeds for pigeons as well as pigeon pellets are good options.\n\n\n\nLearning more about your pigeons and paying attention to their eyes can help you determine if they may be having vision issues. \n\n\n\nIf you worry that there\u2019s a problem, take your pigeon to a veterinarian experienced in treating pigeons. \n\n\n\nIn the meantime, enjoy the color variation that you\u2019ll see among your pet birds.