Bird watchers may very well be the most demanding optics shoppers on the market today. The main reason being the wide variety of environments birds across North America inhabit. Ranging from scorching hot desert temperatures, high mountains, beaches, dense forests, and windy plains, it is important to select the proper form of optics for your birding locale.
Binoculars for Bird Watching
Obviously while spending great lengths of time in the field bird watching, you will need a binocular that will display your specimens as clearly to you as possible. You will need two things from your binoculars; sufficient magnification and proper aperture, which aids in revealing sharp detail and accurate colours.
The consensus among most birders is that the best combination of the above is the 8×42 size of binocular. Which leads us to another important factor; size.
The 8×42 is a slightly larger size of binoculars, as most find that with using smaller and perhaps more portable binoculars, they do not seem to be able to gather enough light to discern plumage and feather colour. Having a 42mm lens allows for a sufficient amount of light gathering capacity, giving you the ability to really hone in on the detailed field marks and allowing for brilliant colour.
Another plus of selecting an 8x magnification also allows for a wide enough view so that your bird will not be constantly moving in and out of your range of view, spend less time chasing the birds, and more time watching them!
Bird Spotting Scopes
While you are certainly able to get by in the birding world with a good pair of binoculars and a sufficient bird field guide, serious birders often will opt to add a bird spotting scope to their repertoire of bird watching equipment.
Designed to be used during the daylight hours, a spotting scope can really up your bird watching game. Unlike other scopes like astronomical scopes, birding scopes always produce an upright and correct image, are not terribly bulky in size and are easily mounted atop tradition camera tripod.
The first order of business when purchasing a new birding scope is to decipher the type of scope you are looking for; a straight body scope or an angled body scope.
A straight bodied scope is as described; the eyepiece fixed in a straight line with the scope itself. The latter, the angled bodied scope is the more preferred design among birders. The main reason for this is their sheer versatility. Angled body scopes are perfect for sharing, allowing you to set the scope at a comfortable height, and allowing multiple users to peek through the lens without disrupting the focus. They also allow the user to aim upwards to treetops, hillsides, and soaring birds.
The selection, as with anything is of personal preference. Those that do the majority of their bird viewing from a vehicle or ground blind will most like prefer a straight angle scope, but the versatile angled scope is more suited for a variety of situations.
We carry a wide variety of optics to choose from, combine that with our years of experience in the field, you can be sure we can help you find the right set of binoculars or a spotting scope that suits your bird watching style.
Drop in and see us, we’d love to chat!