Best Bird Watching Binoculars: Reviews & Ratings of Birding Binoculars

bird watching binoculars

Our experts rate & review the best bird watching binoculars. Reviews include comparisons of the best birding binoculars from Nikon, Bushnell, Celestron & more!

Perhaps more than any other type of sporting optics on the market, bird watching binoculars are the most complex and sophisticated machines out there.

They need to have a variety of specialized attributes in order to make your experience in the field—or the backyard—a perfect one.

Nothing is quite as special as watching a bird take flight or come home to roost. But in order to enjoy that to the fullest, you’ll need to make sure you have the right binoculars, accessories, and resources. That’s what these articles are all about.

Skip Straight to Bird Watching Binocular Reviews

Binoculars for Birding

When it comes to picking out a pair of bird watching binoculars, there are a number of things to watch out for.

Because birding is such an active sport, you’ll want binocs that are highly portable and small. But that shouldn’t detract from their performance. Birding glasses are some of the most intricately designed specs on the market. They need smaller magnification levels, high-tech coatings, and delicate precision.

Based on the amount of money you have to spend on a pair of binoculars, you have a ton of options before you. Even if you’re budget is tight, you can find some really incredible devices. If, that is, you know where to look. For that, read our guide on How to Buy Binoculars.

Best Birding Binoculars

It’s a good question: how do you know what the best bird watching binoculars for you will be? There are so many out there—hundreds, if not thousands to choose from—that it can be more than a little exhausting trying to find the right ones.

But there are steps you can take to narrow down that steady stream of countless products to a bare trickle of near perfect models.

The first thing you should do is ask yourself a few questions about your own style of bird watching. This will help you to determine which models should make the final list.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What kinds of birds do you plan on spying?
  • Where do you plan on going birding?
  • How much money are you willing to spend on a pair of bird watching binoculars?

Then you’ll have to narrow down the list even further by picking a brand name to go with. To give you a bit of a head start, here are three of the best out there: Nikon, Swarovski, and Pentax.

Birding Watching Binoculars: Reviews & Ratings

A great way to find out which kind of binoculars for bird watching you should buy is to read up on all the customer and professional reviews you can find.

But, naturally, you should know what to look for when you do.

Be sure to pay special close attention to the following criteria when scouring the web for the best bird watching binoculars:

  • Prism Types
  • Magnification Settings
  • Aspects of Durability
  • Size and Weight

If you take the time to think about what you want or need from your own pair of bird watching binoculars, then reading these reviews can be even more helpful. Look for accessories or features that excite you. Then spend some time researching, researching, researching.

Birding Forums

You may take your Audobon binoculars and hit the trails by yourself, taking note of all the different kinds of birds you spy, but you can share that information with friends when you’re done by using the many birding forums found on the Internet.

Bird watching forums are great places to learn about new spotting sites, to discover the benefits of certain accessories and supplies, and to make new friends in the global birding community.

Birding forums (like The Birding Guide and Bird Watching Daily) are also great places to post and view photos of birds observed in the wild.

It doesn’t have to be an exclusively solo activity—bird watching is even more fun when you can find ways to share it with a friend, old or new.

Bird Watching for Kids

A great way to introduce your children to the fun of nature is by bringing them birdwatching with you. Whether they have their own pair of kids’ birding binoculars are you loan them a pair of your own, they’ll have a great time looking at all the birds in your backyard or along the wooded trails.

You can turn a nature trip into an educational activity, too. Bring along one of the many great bird identification books for kids and let them tell you what kinds of fliers you’re looking at. Or turn it into an art project by bringing along a sketchpad and some colored pencils. They can draw all the birds they see and keep a scrapbook for themselves.

Bird watching doesn’t have to be just a grown-up activity. Kids can have plenty of good fun doing it, too!

Birding Optics

Binoculars aren’t the only kinds of sports optics that can get you close to the birds. Sure, they may be the traditional devices used in ornithology, but there are other options before you, too.

Instead of—or in addition to—bird watching binoculars, you can also bring along:

  • Bird Watching Monoculars
  • Bird Watching Spotting Scopes
  • Bird Watching Night Vision Specs
  • Bird Watching Digital Camera Binocs

Birds can be found in so many different places at so many different times that it simply doesn’t make sense to have only one way to observe them. Try supplementing your birding arsenal with other sporting optics to maximum your ornithological experience.

If you’re having trouble trying to narrow down the enormous list of brands, lines, and models of birding optics to choose from, take heart: we’re here to help.

For those on a limited budget, take a look at what Eagle Optics has to offer. If you have a medium-sized financial plan, take a peek at Steiner’s lineup. But if you’re lucky enough to have an unlimited supply of funds when it comes to birding optics, check out the Leica and Swarovski catalog—you’ll find some of the best scopes, monoculars, night vision devices, and other optics in the industry.

Bird Watching Supplies

If you plan on stepping out into the wilds for an adventure in bird watching, you’d do well to take more than just a handy pair of binoculars with you. The binocs may be the most important part of your birding arsenal, but there’s so much more you need to round out your birding supplies.

Some of these accessories are made to improve or augment the specs themselves, while others are just meant to make your birding experience the best it can possibly be.

What kinds of accessories are we talking about here?

  • Tethered Lens Caps
  • Binocular Cleaning Kits
  • Doublers
  • GPS Units
  • Digital Compasses
  • Harnesses
  • And more!

A good pair of bird watching binoculars is, of course, the key ingredient to a successful day of ornithology fun, but you need to know that there are other things you can bring along to make it that much better.


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