Because it is often assumed that rabbits are nocturnal, it is also assumed they have very excellent night vision. However, rabbits are not nocturnal, they are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk.
What does this mean for a rabbit’s night vision?
Can bunnies see in the dark?
Yes, they can see in the dark, but not very well. Their eyesight works best in the low light of dawn and dusk.
Similar to human eyes, a rabbit’s vision will adjust to the conditions. They will be able to easily discern movement in the dark, but will also rely on their other senses, like smell and hearing.
Rabbits have adapted to be most active in the early morning and early evening, and so their vision has also adapted likewise. Because this is when they are doing the bulk of their feeding, wild rabbits in particular need to have good vision to be on the lookout for predators.
Can Rabbits See Color?
Rabbits can see vague colors, but they don’t see color nearly as well as humans.
Rabbits see hues of blue, grey, and green, but one big difference between us and them is that they don’t have red color receptors.
The anatomy of a rabbit’s eye is what causes it to have good low light vision.
One of the most interesting aspects is the third eyelid, or ‘nictitating membrane’. This allows them to sleep with their eyes open if they wish, blinking only the third eyelid to keep their eyes moist. However, most pet rabbits, if kept in a hutch or area free from predators, will feel safe enough to sleep with both eyes closed. Our pet rabbits always have their eyes closed for a good snooze!
The way rabbits’ eyes are situated high on the sides of their heads gives them an almost 360-degree field of vision. This means they can see behind themselves! They do have a small blind spot directly in front of them, but if a predator has made it that close it’s probably already too late!
Can Rabbits See In The Dark?
So yes, rabbits can see in the dark better than we can, but it’s not their time of best vision as is often thought. A cat’s eyesight in the night would be far better, for example.
If out at night, a rabbit, or a group of rabbits, will be depending more on their sense of smell and hearing and on their sight.