The evolution of unique organ structures is associated with changes in conserved developmental programs. However, characterizing the functional conservation and variation of homologous transcription factors (TFs) that dictate species-specific cellular dynamics has remained elusive. Here, we dissect shared and divergent functions of Pax6 during amniote brain development. Comparative functional analyses revealed that the neurogenic function of Pax6 is highly conserved in the developing mouse and chick pallium, whereas stage-specific binary functions of Pax6 in neurogenesis are unique to mouse neuronal progenitors, consistent with Pax6-dependent temporal regulation of Notch signaling. Furthermore, we identified that Pax6-dependent enhancer activity of Dbx1 is extensively conserved between mammals and chick, although Dbx1 expression in the developing pallium is highly divergent in these species. Our results suggest that spatiotemporal changes in Pax6-dependent regulatory programs contributed to species-specific neurogenic patterns in mammalian and avian lineages, which underlie the morphological divergence of the amniote pallial architectures.