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  Home > Health and diseases > General topics > Anatomy of a budgie: eyes
  A budgie's eye: 1a is the pupil and 1b is the iris ringCompared to the proportions of a human eye, the bird eye is much larger. Only a small part is visible, most of the bird's eye is located inside the skull. This isn't unusual, most animals and also humans share this anatomical feature because it is useful: Inside the skull, the soft eyeball is protected from injuries. So if one has a closer look to a budgie's eye, one can easily see two distinctive details: the pupil (1a) and an iris ring (1b). Depending on the budgie's colour variety, the pupil is black, dark-brown or red. The colour of the iris isn't white in each case, there are also some budgie colour mutations with a black or a reddish iris. Also very young budgies have a black iris. When these birds become sexually mature, the colour of the iris changes to white in most colour varieties.

Here you can see the upper (1c) and the lower (1d) eyelids of a budgieThere is much more to say about a budgie's eye. Humans and most mammals have two lids which can be opened and closed from above downwards (in vertical direction). In addition to their upper eyelid (1c) and lower eyelid (1d), birds possess a third, inner lid, the so-called nictitating membrane (1e), see photo on the right. This transparent membrane protects the eye and while it is in its rest position it is located in the front portion of the bird's eye. The nictitating membrane opens and closes from the upper front section to the lower rear section (diagonally).

This picture shows the nictitating membrane (1e) of a budgie

On the edges of the upper and lower eyelids of birds are some tiny hair-like feathers (1f)And a bird's eye shows another detail that can be compared to a quite similar human body part: On the edges of the upper and lower eyelids there are some tiny hair-like feathers (1f). They are comparable to the human eyelashes and can only be seen from very close. A bird's eyelashes protect the eye from dirt. The photo on the right shows the lashes of a budgie. This particular bird has very dense "eyelashes".

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