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Simple Tips for Choosing Binoculars for Bird Watching

Bird watching is one of the most relaxing, most enjoyable, hobbies you could ever have. Sitting on your porch, sipping lemonade, watching for birds—it doesn’t get any better than this. But while some birds, such as hummingbirds might come up close to the feeder to get the nectar, other birds might not be so brave. These shy birds you must hunt for, in the trees, with a good pair of binoculars. In fact a good pair of binoculars can take your bird watching experience from good to great!

Choosing Binoculars:

  • All binoculars have numbers such as 10 x 42 and 7 x 20. The first number refers to the magnification power. In the 10 x 42 example, 10 is the magnification power—with this binocular, the bird being viewed will appear 10 times closer. If you are a novice birder, you should stick with binoculars from 7 x to 10 x power. The Nikon 7x35 Aculon A211 is great for beginners.
  • The second number, 42 in the above example, refers to the diameter in millimeters of the front lens. The binoculars with larger numbers will allow more light to pass through the lens, which means the birds being viewed will appear brighter and more clear. However, the binoculars with the larger numbers tend to add weight (bulkiness) to the binoculars. The Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x50 Binoculars balance quality with a great price.
  • For birders who wear glasses, and must wear them at all times, like myself, there are some binoculars on the market that are eyeglass-friendly. The Carson Optical 10 x 42 Mossy Oak Treestand Binocular has extra-long eye-relief for eyeglass wearers. With this binocular, you will be 10 times closer to the bird, and with the 42 millimeter lens, the bird will be easy to view. This binocular has an additional benefit—it is waterproof.             

Definitely binoculars are a must have accessory for bird watching and in fact many serious bird watchers have multiple pairs of binoculars in their field bag to handle any situation.

Also check out this article for 5 Quick Tips for Choosing the Right Binoculars!

Author:  Sandra Carswell