The authors studied the morphometry and the topographical distribution of Retinal Ganglion Cells (RGCs) in four nocturnal raptors of the order of Strigiformes, family of Strigidae: little owl, tawny owl, scops owl, eared owl. In order to recognize specialized retinal vision areas (fovea and visual streak), the number of RGCs/mm2 and the soma size in the four retinal fields (dorsal, ventral, temporal and nasal) by the histological analysis of retinal radial sections were recorded. A temporal fovea was identified in little owl, tawny owl and eared owl while in scops owl this visual area was localized near the fundus oculi. A radial visual streak ventrally directed was pointed out in the retinas of the four raptors with different shape according to its width. The Authors linked the obtained data with the predatory behavior of nocturnal raptors in their habitat.
KEY WORDS: Retinal ganglion cells; Morphometry; Topographical distribution; Nocturnal raptors; Strigidae.