To see the world the way birds do

Published: 2022-11-16

Birds have eyesight that significantly exceeds ours. In order to replicate this, the Swedes have now developed a camera with a "bird's eye" setting. Optical filters on the camera can be switched out to simulate the vision of various animals. All that we observe is a purely human reality, perhaps now we can glimpse into their world and learn about their secrets.

To see the world the way birds do

To see the world the way birds do

Birds boast eyesight that is much better than even our 20/20. It exceeds ours by several times.

The Swedes have now created a camera with a “bird’s eye” setting that mimics this.

In addition to red, green, and blue, a bird’s retina contains UV-sensitive receptors. Therefore, their world is not the same as ours.

The camera is equipped with optical filters that can be changed to emulate the eyesight of various animals.

Scientists used it to photograph dense foliage, something familiar to birds, and then compared those pictures to normal ones.

The ultraviolet gives birds an advantage. Where we only see a green wall of foliage, they can see a lot more detail.

The upper parts of the leaves, in their world, are bright. The lower parts are dark.

They can clearly distinguish individual leaves!

This is why it is easier for them to navigate finding food and nests.

The shots took place in different habitats, as well – open spaces in Sweden, Australian forests, the tropical, and the subtropical.


Those that fly in open spaces have the most contrasting vision. They catch shorter UV waves.

Then there are those that love the dense forest tree-tops, who see just as well. Their eyes see UV waves of greater length.

The Swedish camera can imitate other animals. Seeing the world through the eyes of a cat, peacock, or mountain goat takes a little spirit, though. Perhaps this could help humanity be kinder to all its “little brothers and sisters”.


“We only see a purely human reality. Animals inhabit other realities and perhaps now we can see through their eyes and reveal their secrets. Reality, as you know, is in the eyes of the beholder,” says the lead researcher.

Interestingly, birds and turtles have the dinosaurs to thank for their excellent vision. But if you have your ownproblems with eyesight, this knowledge will not help you.


Photo by David Clode on Unsplash