The avian ciliary ganglion receives its only recognized input from the nucleus of Edinger-Westphal. This is known to be a cholinergic input. In the present study, using fluorescein isothiocyanate and peroxidase- antiperoxidase immunohistochemical methods, substance P-like and enkephalin-like immunoreactivity has been found within preganglionic terminals of the avian ciliary ganglion. The ciliary ganglion is known to consist of two distinct cell populations: small choroid cells that project to the smooth muscle coat of the choroid and large ciliary neurons that send axons to both the iris and the ciliary body. Preganglionic terminals on choroid cells consist of small boutonal endings, whereas ciliary neurons receive a calyx-like cap ending around the hilus of the cell. Substance P-like and enkephalin-like immunoreactivity was localized to preganglionic axons and to both boutonal and calyx-like terminations upon cells of the ciliary ganglion. Electron microscopic studies of both substance P-like and enkephalin-like immunoreactive terminals revealed small clear core vesicles (approximately 58 nm in diameter) and two sizes of dense core vesicles (approximately 85 and approximately 119 nm in diameter). Immunoreactive staining was observed only in the smaller dense core vesicles. The unlabeled clear core vesicles were clustered at synaptic release sites, while the immunoreactive and larger unlabeled dense core vesicles usually were not near these synaptic specializations. These observations strongly imply that neuropeptides co-occur with acetylcholine in preganglionic axons of the ciliary ganglion.