Birdwatching or birding is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Everybody from all walks of life and ages have enjoyed birdwatching. Birders try to find more species than their competitors in a given amount of time. There are even people who try to be the first one to spot a specie that is migrating across their area.
To enjoy birdwatching, the only equipment that you really need is your eyes for observing. Birds can be identified by their sound alone. There are guide books that can help birdwatchers to identify birds.
The basic equipment for birdwatchers is a binocular. With binoculars, they will bring all birds up close so you see them clearly, a high quality binocular could even let you see feather details of a bird which is hundreds of feet away.
Binoculars are indispensable for a birdwatcher. Binoculars come in different shapes, sizes and specifications. It is not only suitable and can be used for birding, but also for other sporting events, concerts, star gazing, hiking, fishing, nature observation and more.
There is no binocular perfect for all the situations, it is important to determine the primary use to choose the best binocular suitable for your needs.
The large 7 by 50 binoculars are one of the most popular. The first number refer to the magnification power of the binocular and the second number refers to the diameter of the front lens in millimeters. A larger diameter lens means for light can enter the binocular and the image would be brighter
Another birdwatching equipment is the spotting scope. A spotting scope is a compact telescope for observing something beyond the range of a typical binocular. It was designed primarily for astronomy, it is designed with a shorter focal length for lower magnifications compared to telescopes. It is suitable for long distance birdwatching.
When boirdwatching and holding a binocular and telescope, you cannot avoid vibrations and tremors because the hands and fingers cannot hold the equipment stable anymore. So many birdwatchers invest on good and stable tripods. Looking at stable images or through stable equipment reduces headache or eye strain.
A perfect tripod is lightweight, rigid, strong, portable, easy to set up, inexpensive and tall enough for comfortable viewing. Investing in a stable and high quality tripod can complement the high precision optical instrument that you have.
Field guides are also important birdwatcher tool. When purchasing the first
Field guide, it is best to start with one that displays paintings of birds rather than photographs. Paintings allow artists to include all distinguishing features that help identify a bird in each illustration. Birdwatchers also carry around a little notebook for their fielding notes. They would record the birds that they saw and even writes the description.
Taking photographs of birds will preserve the memory and experience. Digital cameras that we have today have built-in zooming capabilities. This make focusing on distant objects and taking a clear picture of them a lot easier.
Some birdwatchers would also bring hats and a birding vest whenever they go birdwatching. A birding vest is where you can put your binoculars, field guide, pen and notebook. Rain gear is a must is some areas. Whether may turn suddenly and get nasty, it is better to be prepared.
For long distance birdwatching expeditions, bird watchers carry some first aid kit and some snacks and bottled water.