Whether we are out in the field, our backyard or passing by a window in our home, you never know when the perfect photo opportunity might pop up. Many of us log hours and hours with our local birds, snapping up shot after shot of our favourite feathered friends.

While there are many ways to get the most out of your camera or phone’s camera when it comes to photographing birds, nothing quite matches the experience and quality derived from a relatively new technique called digiscoping.

The process of simply combining a digital camera with a birding spotting scope is said to have been invented back in 1999. A young man in Malaysia is often credited with this newfound invention and has since grown in popularity due to the readily available digital cameras in the consumer marketplace today. Early adopters would modify items like bottle caps to prevent direct contact between the two instruments, but today there are complete mounting brackets and accessories on the market for this popular new hobby.

 

One of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of this activity is low barriers to entry. Essentially anyone can get started quite quickly, all you need is a digital camera, a spotting scope and some sort of mount to put it all together, but you can get by without one. Given the power of spotting scope, this technique can span far greater distances than most zoom-cameras on the market, while the crisp digital imagery makes for a beautiful shot.

Where to Look for Mounts & Accessories

Most of the larger manufacturers of spotting scopes have hopped on this train and are riding it full speed. You can also find a variety of adapters and mounts in a number of camera retailers online in specialty stores or on manufacturer’s websites.