Bird watching is a hobby that is popular with many people and if this is something you intend to become involved in there are a few pieces of equipment that are commonly needed. While it may be possible to get close enough to view some birds with the naked eye, in most cases this is not possible. For this reason bird watching binoculars are common equipment used by those that participate in the hobby.
Bird watching binoculars are one of the more important pieces of equipment carried by bird watchers and can make the task of identifying the birds seen much easier. Typically there are a few things to consider when looking into purchasing a pair of binoculars for bird watching and there are a few basics to understand.
Typically bird watching binoculars will be categorized by a couple of numbers which indicate the magnification and lens size of the equipment. A 7×35 pair of binoculars for bird watching, for example, will have a magnification of 7 times and a lens width of 35mm. Generally the greater the magnification the closer a bird will appear and most birders typically choose binoculars with magnification of 7 to 12 times. The higher the magnification the narrower the field of view through the binoculars and typically for those starting out, a lower magnification can be a better choice. It allows more to be seen through the binoculars and therefore more opportunity to spot a bird.
In terms of lens width, the bigger this is the more light that can enter the binoculars and the brighter an image will appear. However, bigger also means heavier and if you are looking for equipment that is easier to carry a lens width of 50mm or lower is typically the best choice.
There are many manufacturers that produce bird watching binoculars and some of the common brand names include Nikon, Zeiss, Pentax, Canon and Bushnell. There is a wide variety of equipment available on the market and this can range from more affordable value to expensive top of the range binoculars.
If looking to purchase binoculars for bird watching, there are a range of outlets that have them for sale. A good in-store location is Ritz Camera and they have a wide variety of binoculars available from many of the top manufacturers. The cost for the binoculars they have available starts at under $50, with an example of this being the Bushnell 13 0805 H2o Waterproof Binoculars, which cost around $40. These are 8x25mm binoculars and are a compact set which are portable and easy to carry. Higher quality bird watching binoculars can cost up to $1,000 and greater with the Canon 12 x 36 IS II Binocular being an example of this. These are available from Ritz Camera for around $710 and feature state of the art optics and active image stabilization to provide an excellent view when used.
Bird watching can be an interesting hobby and an enjoyable way to spend time in the outdoors. To do this successfully a good pair of bird watching binoculars is required and with the variety of choice on the market most people that want to become involved in bird watching should be able to find a pair that suits their needs and their budget.