Calbindin-D28k, calretinin, and recoverin, three intracellular calcium-binding proteins belonging to the troponin C/calmodulin superfamily, were immunohistochemically localized in chick pineal during development [from embryonic day 16 (E16) to postnatal day 14 (P14)]. At E18, only calretinin immunoreactivity could be detected in nuclei from follicular pinealocytes. With development, calretinin immunoreactivity expanded from nucleus to cytoplasm, and calretinin immuno-positive cell number increased. At P14 almost al pinealocytes were calretinin positive. Calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity was not detected before E20. During development, many follicular and parafollicular pinealocytes became strongly calbindin-D28k positive, reaching a peak both in intensity and in number at P7; thereafter their number decreased. In addition to pinealocytes, neuron-like cells appeared calbindin-D28k positive at E20 and calretinin positive at P7. Recoverin, a myristoylated protein isolated from vertebrate photoreceptor and which might participate in the inactivation of the phototransduction cascade, was transiently expressed in follicular and parafollicular pinealocytes from P1 to P14 with a maximal expression at P7. This transitory expression may coincide with a transitory light sensitivity period in chick pinealocytes, before complete maturity of the pineal gland.