Why Do Birds Have Eyes?

Why Do Birds Have Eyes?

Why do birds have eyes? That sounds like a silly question. Suppose you said, “So they can see,” you would be correct. But that’s not the only purpose for a bird’s eyes.

Bird’s eyes also serve to cool the bird’s body. People sweat, dogs pant, but birds have another cooling system. Flying is a high-energy activity, and it can raise a bird’s body temperature so much that the heat could damage its central nervous system. A bird’s eyes are designed to eliminate this problem.

As the wind rushes past the eyes of a flying bird, it evaporates water from the surface. This evaporation cools the blood in the nearby veins. The cooler blood prevents the temperature of the bird’s brain from going too high. Scientists proved this by putting hoods over the heads of some birds. If the eyes were covered, the brain temperature rose dramatically. If the eyes were uncovered, the brain temperature stayed constant.

So now you know. If someone asks you, “why do birds have eyes,” you can tell them, “To keep their brains cool.” We see many other amazing designs in birds. (Why do they fly north in spring? Why don’t they have ears? Why do some birds stand on one leg?) The design we see in all of life truly shows the wisdom of God.

— Roland Earnst © 2020