Objective: To estimate the prevalence of ocular disease and obtain normative ocular data for free-living hummingbirds. Animals studied: Two hundred and sixty-three free-living, adult Hummingbirds from coastal and inland central California were studied, including Anna's (Calypte anna, n = 186) and Black-chinned (Archilochus alexandri; n = 77) hummingbirds. Procedures: Slit lamp biomicroscopy and indirect ophthalmoscopy were performed on all individuals. Rebound tonometry, measurement of horizontal palpebral fissure length, and streak retinoscopy were performed on select individuals. Five conscious Anna's Hummingbirds underwent ocular imaging including fundus photography, digital slit lamp photography, and anterior segment and retinal optical coherence tomography. Results: The prevalence of ocular disease in this population was 2.28%. Ocular imaging revealed a thin cornea, shallow anterior chamber, large lens, and a single central, deep convexiclivate fovea. Mean ± SD intraocular pressure was 11.21 ± 2.23 mm Hg. Mean ± SD eyelid length was 2.59 ± 0.19 mm. All eyes were emmetropic or mildly hyperopic with a mean (range) ± SD refractive error of +0.32 (-0.25 to +1) ± 0.33 diopters. Conclusions: Consistent with previous reports, these data suggest that hummingbirds have visual characteristics found in predatory and prey species, as well as a low prevalence of spontaneous ocular disease. This work provides a set of reference values and clinical findings that can be used in the future research on hummingbird vision and ocular disease. It also provides representative diagnostic images of normal birds and demonstrates that advanced ocular imaging can be performed on manually restrained hummingbirds without pharmacologic dilation.
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