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Thread: eye color at night

  1. #1
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default eye color at night

    Several times a week I take my dog out for a several mile run (I walk, he runs) after I get home...which is usually between 10pm and MN. His eyes are a radiant opelescent jade green color in my headlamp beam. The trail I usually hike is a powerline clear cut and the surrounding bush has abundant wildlife although the only thing he has "brought back to me" so far has been moose. My question is what color are the eyes of other game that I am bound to run across sooner or later...esp. in several months when it starts to warm up? I am sure those that live full time in the bush and/or anyone who does a bit of trapping can educate me on this. If the eyes are accompanied by a deep rumbling growl or loud roar I can prob'ly figure that one out by myself and prob'ly won't be paying much attention to the eye color anyway since I don't have eyes in the back of my head!

  2. #2

    Default Generally

    As a general rule predatory animals eyes will reflect a red glow at night using a white light, just like human eyes do using a flash. Prey type animals eyes will glow in a yellowish-green color with a white light at night. The color of the light from red , blue, green, yellow will cause a distortion of these eye colors. Human eyes at night are red so identify your target if you are predator huntimg at night. Good Luck !!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    North Pole

    Default you have a reference for those eye colors Brav01 or is that from personal experience?

    I am certainly NOT questioning the info you have provided, I would just like to read more on the subject is all.

  4. #4
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Brav01: Interesting. My dog is a Great Dane, Lab, Pitbull mix and at just under 100# at 14 mo old prob does not fall into the prey catagory. Maybe the use of my led headlamp with it's attendent unique wave length vs a halogen bulb affects the perceived color of his retinal reflection?

  5. #5

    Default Observations

    I have hunted preators at night for years. Everything from racoons to mountain lions. I don't know the different spectrums of light and different typse of light do probably affect the reflective colors of the retina.I haven't used anything but a sealed beam(head light style) spotlight. I do know in photoghaphy some indoor lights produce an amber glow and some produce blue hues. I do know incandesent flouresent, and halogen lights may not have the same light spectrums and may yeild varying results. A light that is too bright will cause and animal to close its eyes, just like you would if someone shinned a bright light in your eyes.

  6. #6

    Default Color of eyes

    Thei is from the website

    "The commonly observed phenomena of animals' eyes "glowing in the dark" is a result of some exterior light, usually a flashlight, spotlight or headlight,
    reflecting back from the animal's eyes. You will not see it unless you, the
    light, and the animal are at the right angles - you will only see a deer's
    eyes glow in headlights if the deer is more or less in front of the car and
    its eyes turned just right toward you."

    "This is a complex area of optics. It involves the same "red eye" effect in
    flash photography. Different animals reflect different colors. The
    keywords to look this up include: retroreflectivity and dew
    heiligenschein. Robert Greenler refers to this in a chapter on diffraction
    in his book _Rainbows, Halos, and Glories_ , Cambridge University Press 1980."

    "This effect is used by 3M in their reflective tapes and in highway
    paint. Small spheres reflect the light back. Two other technologies --
    corner cube reflection (Stimsonite) and parabolic reflectors (illumiNITE)
    -- are also retroreflective, but you can skip those in your search."

    "Many animals with 'night vision' have reflective pigment behind the retinal
    photoreceptors at the back of their eyes. Light coming into the eye
    therefore stimulates the photoreceptors on the way in and once again as it reflects back through them. That doubles their perception of the light's
    brightness. If you shine a light directly into their eyes at night, you see
    the reflected light from that pigment on the back of their eyes. Unless the
    animal looks directly at the source of the light, you won't get the full


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