Do Bats Have Good Eyesight?


Do Bats Have Good Eyesight?

You’ve probably heard the saying “as blind as a bat” before. However, don’t bats catch microscopic insects in the pitch-black night? You’re left wondering if bats have strong eyesight after all this uncertainty.

The eyes of bats are quite good in low light. This enhances bats’ night vision because they are nocturnal creatures. To identify good food sources, bats rely on their vision as well as other senses like sound and smell. Large fruit bats have large eyes that are three times as sensitive to light than human eyes.

You might now be wondering why it is said that bats are blind. Additionally, you probably want to learn a little bit more about the eyesight and other senses that bats have. Everything you need to know about a bat’s visual system is included in this guide.

All right? then let’s move forward.

As Blind As a Bat?

As Blind As a Bat?

Because of the expression “as blind as a bat,” bat eyesight has a negative reputation. This is typically applied when a person wears glasses or has poor vision. Are bats blind, then?

The bat is not blind. They typically have eyesight that can adjust to low light conditions. Bats forage for food at night using their vision, echolocation abilities, and sense of smell.

So why is it thought that bats are blind yet they have excellent vision?

One of Aristotle’s sayings on ignorance gave rise to the expression “blind as a bat.” In the original quote, it is said that bats’ vision is poor in daylight. People started using this expression because they thought that because bats have poor coordination when flying, they couldn’t see very well.

How Good is Bat eyesight?

Like all animals, bats rely on their eyes to see and scavenge for food.

The eyes of a bat are significantly dissimilar to those of a person. They do not require the same exposure to a wide variety of colors as humans do. This is so that they can hunt at night, when colors are less useful to them than they are in daylight.

There are two types of bats, and each has a unique eye type.

Macrobat Vision

The term “macrobat” refers to a species of larger bat that eats primarily fruit and nectar. Because macrobats must forage for fruit and nectar at night, they have evolved to have extraordinarily wide eyes. They combine their sense of smell with their vision.

Large fruit bats only use their vision to navigate their surroundings. They require some light from the moon to help them with this. Fruit bats cannot fly on nights with little moonlight, and they will starve.

Macrobats have excellent daytime vision as well. As a form of nighttime training, young foxes can also be observed soaring around.

The primary predators of fruit bats are owls and hawks, and they rely on vision to recognize an impending attack on their treetop roosts.

Microbats Vision

Microbats are smaller varieties of bat that eat mostly insects. This particular type of bat has tiny eyes with exceptionally acute night vision. They require this in low-light situations to hunt for small, nimble insects.

A microbat will utilize its vision to find objects that are beyond of their echolocation range. This indicates that a microbat will use long vision to observe items that are between 33 and 66 feet distant.

Microbats may appear chaotic when flying, but this is only because they are actively capturing a variety of insects that you cannot see. For health reasons and to get ready for winter hibernation, bats need to consume thousands of insects every day.

UV Vision

Really bad color perception is a trait of bats. This is due to the color’s relative ineffectiveness to bats un low light.

Despite having good color vision, certain species of bats can see in ultraviolet light. It’s believed that bats use UV light to travel more effectively at night. Even though UV radiation is less intense at night, the moon still provides some UV light for bats.

Bats can determine how many insects will be present at night by observing UV light levels. This has the same effect as persistent rain and unfavorable weather in driving insects indoors.

UV detection is utilized to locate UV-reflecting flowers for fruit and nectar-eating bats. This makes the blooms appear to be lit up, and the darkness makes it easier for the bats to find good nectar sources.

Using other senses

How Good is Bat eyesight?

The ability to see is crucial for bats to move about and obtain food. To function as effectively as possible, people must use their eyes in conjunction with other senses.

Let’s examine the additional senses that bats rely on in addition to their vision.


Bats are renowned for having exceptional hearing. Echolocation is a unique form of hearing used by bats. Because of this, bats can emit tiny sound waves (ultrasounds) from their nostrils, which bounce off the surroundings. The bats’ ears receive a lot of feedback information about their surroundings when these waves bounce back to them.

Bats use echolocation to locate, assess the speed, and gauge the size of nearby environmental features and food sources.

Bats have a hearing range of up to 200 kHz. A bat has exceptional hearing compared to humans, who can only hear up to 20 kHz.

Bats can detect objects up to 55 feet (17 meters) away from them via echolocation. Beyond this, a bat utilizes its vision to look for prospective landmarks or even predators.

Echolocation is not used by fruit bats to locate food. They will navigate using their senses of sight and scent.


Fruit bats have significantly more olfactory adaptation than the microbat species.

Fruit bats have modified their noses to enhance their sense of smell because they don’t utilize them for echolocation.

Fruit bats can detect sweet-smelling fruits and nectar-producing flowers during the night because to their enhanced sense of smell.

Some fruits have acquired the ability to release aroma in an effort to draw bats, which aid in the dispersal of seeds and pollen.

Microbats may also locate food sources by using their sense of smell. This is primarily observed in the species of blood-drinking vampire bats. These particular kind of bats have infrared sensors in the area of their noses that may detect heat emanating from an animal’s blood. This enables them to find large creatures to hunt at night while they sleep.

Can Bats see during the day?

Even during the day, bats can see. They can perceive color, but they can only see two spectrums at once. Because of this, they are unable to perceive as many hues as humans can.

Even though this could appear to be a drawback, it’s not really. This is due to the fact that bats are nocturnal and are mostly active at night. Mammals do not benefit as much from normal color spectrums in low-light conditions.

Because of their unpredictable flying patterns, people may believe that bats are blind in the daylight. But that’s because it’s uncommon to observe bats during the day.

A bat observed during the day is probably young or confused. In any case, the bat’s lack of coordination is caused by being disoriented rather than by having impaired vision.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you now understand that, in contrast to popular opinion, bats have exceptional eyesight. Together with their other senses, including hearing and smell, they will utilize this to locate food and protect themselves from predators.

In order to forage at night rather than during the day, bats have modified their vision. Although most species of bats have poor color vision, some can discover food by detecting UV and infrared light.

These physical modifications have helped bats adapt to local food supplies and enable the survival of their species in a variety of habitats.


How can I keep bats away from my house?

One of the most popular strategies for preventing bats from entering your home is to bring their natural adversaries, such as owls, close to where the bats roost. Purchase a plastic fake owl, install it as high as you can, and make sure it’s close to the area where the bats are roosting on or around your house.

What happens if bats see light?

There are almost certainly additional bats hidden someplace behind the one you see. Even while bats dislike strong lights, this does not indicate that lighting will effectively drive them away. In fact, it’s more likely that employing strong lights to try to frighten away these flying creatures will have the opposite effect.

Are bats eyes sensitive to light?

They discovered greater sensitivity to UV radiation under cone-stimulating light settings using electroretinographic recordings. According to the study’s findings, bats’ eyes are designed for both daytime and UV vision.

Do porch lights keep bats away?

Make Use Of Your Porch Lights To Keep Bats Away. Activate the porch light. When you turn on the front porch light, bats are often disturbed and move to another habitat since they prefer a calm, dark location to slumber undisturbed.

Will lights keep bats away?

Putting up bright lights generally won’t work if you wish to implement a method to deter bats. Although it makes sense that bats would avoid bright lights, doing so frequently makes the issue worse. Consider installing some powerful floodlights all around your house.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author