Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seeing Birds with New Eyes

It's amazing what new equipment can do to make birding even more amazing. In planning for a trip to my first birding festival, I knew there was at least one piece of equipment I was in desperate need of: new binoculars. Lacking time to do the proper research for elaborate optics, I instead visited my favorite birding supply store, the Wild Bird store in Layton. There, I examined several pairs of binoculars specialized for birding, comparing them to the old hand-me-down pair I've been using with little success.

Imagine my surprise when, for just $20, I was able to purchase a much smaller, lighter pair with far better magnification and resolution. While my schedule has been such that birding has been forced to a back seat for the past few days, I have enjoyed trying them out on my backyard visitors with great success. What's more, the most important thing for me is that they're easier to use when sighting birds, instead of endless searching through a small field of view.

It goes to show that just any pair of optics is not acceptable; you need to find one that works well for your birding needs and preferences when using binoculars, monoculars, or scopes. Eventually I hope to have even better optics, but these are a fine step for now, bringing me into more intimate contact with the birds I see.

Just a few more days are left in January's poll; vote for your favorite birding spots today!

No comments: