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Bird Watching Equipment

Aug 18, 2007
One of the best things about bird watching is you don't need a lot of tools to do it effectively. Most importantly you will need a quality pair of binoculars, a camera, a notebook, and a field guide. Here we will take a look at the details of binoculars, one of the most important pieces of equipment needed for bird watching.

Binoculars will be needed to effectively see birds from far distances. The best birders will often have the best binoculars. Beginners oftentimes use cheap binoculars that won't allow you to capture the detail needed to determine what type of bird it is compared to the more expensive binoculars.

There are a few important things to consider when purchasing a pair of binoculars for bird watching.

Make sure the magnification is at least 7-power. The power is the first number given in the numerical notation that describes binoculars. For example, a 7 x 35 pair of glasses will make objects appear as if they are seven times as close as they actually are. Seven-power binoculars are the minimum amount needed to see birds well enough. Any binoculars of a higher power may be too difficult for birders to hold steady.

Make sure the second number (35 for a 7 x 35 pair of glasses) is at least five times as large as the power (e.g.,7 x 35, 8 x 40, etc.). The second number describes the diameter of the lens in millimeters. The larger the lens, the more light the binoculars will be able to gather thus allowing you to see better in dim light conditions or on a dark-colored bird.

When the lens is held a foot away the large lens should reflect a bluish or purplish tinge. This means the lens is color-coated. This coating decreases the amount of internal glare and increases the amount of light that actually comes to your eyes.

When looking through your binoculars make sure the image is singular or clear. When you bring the barrels of the binoculars close enough together the image you see should merge into a single clear image within a single perfect circle. If not the binoculars may be out of alignment, which can lead to sever headaches and eyestrain.

The binoculars should not only be able to produce a clear image from far distances, but also close only 20 feet away. You don't want to miss any birds hiding in the nearby brush.

If you look at a sign with large lettering through your binoculars the letters close to the edge of the field of view should be as precise and well formed as the letters in the center of the field of view. Be aware cheap binoculars are known to have a problem with image distortion.
About the Author
For more information about wild or pet birds please visit www.mywildbird.com. Here you will find in depth quality information about birds and how to choose the right bird feeder for bird watching.
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