What do birds see?

Another great question from James:

When certain birds (not owls) look out at you from their left eye, they can’t see you with their right eye on the other side of its head. So what do birds with eyes on both sides of the head actually see? Two different scenes? Or some sort of panorama distillation?

What does LAGG see?

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Meet LAGG (Lime – Aluminum – Green – Green).


He lives a good 30-minute walk from a campground off Highway 120, far from any other junco territory, as seems to be the rule in our low-elevation sites. We did not see a mate with him—which is strange, to me, because from my subjective human perspective I think he is the handsomest male junco we have caught so far. His head is stark black, no brown feather edges; his back is a rusty red-brown; his tail feathers have lots of white. But of course, there’s no reason to think that female juncos have the same taste in male juncos that I do—and that’s one of the things I’m hoping to find out: what aspects of junco appearance matter to female juncos?

So handsome!