Where observers concentrate their gaze during visual search depends on several factors. The aim here was to determine how much of the variance in observers' fixations in natural scenes can be explained by local scene color and how that variance is related to viewing bias. Fixation data were taken from an experiment in which observers searched images of 20 natural rural and urban scenes for a small target. The proportion R2 of the variance explained in a regression on local color properties (lightness and the red-green and yellow-blue chromatic components) ranged from 1% to 85%, depending mainly on how well those properties were consistent with observers' viewing bias. When viewing bias was included in the regression, values of R2 increased, ranging from 62% to 96%. By comparison, local lightness and local lightness contrast, edge density, and entropy each explained less variance than local color properties. Local scene color may have a much stronger influence on gaze position than is generally recognized, capturing significant aspects of scene structure on target search behavior. © 2014 Optical Society of America.