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Best Bird Binoculars | Binoculars for Birding

Updated on December 13, 2010

Best Bird Watching Binoculars

Choosing Binoculars for Birding

If you are looking for a pair of binoculars either specifically for birding or you will mostly be using them for birdwatching, there are a few features that you should look out for. Rather annoyingly these features can be a little different depending on the type of terrain that you will be doing most of your observation on.

For example most people highly recommend a wide field of view being far more important than a powerful magnification and I totally agree with this. However not for all situations. A wide field of view makes it easier to locate a fast and erratic moving bird in something like a forested areas. But if you do your birding out in open areas like over a dam or lake, a wide field of view may not as important and indeed in some extreme cases a powerful magnification may be more desirable than the field of view.

On this page I don't plan to go through all the features to look out for, as you can find them all in great detail on this article I wrote on binoculars for bird watching on the Best Binocular Reviews Website.

What I plan to do is list some of what I believe to be the best birding binoculars and explain why. In this way I hope to make it easier for you to find what is for you the ideal pair of optics.

Swift Audubon ED 8.5x44 Binoculars

If you are looking for a wide field of view, then these are the ones for you, because at 430ft at 1,000 yards (8.2°) they do provide you with one of the widest field of view of any full sized 8x binocular on the market.

This is made even more impressive by the fact that they have a slightly more powerful 8.5x magnification than the usual 8x magnification that most birders will opt for.

So as mentioned earlier the very wide field of view makes these ideal for birders that will mostly be observing forested or garden birds, but also make excellent all round binoculars as they also have a bunch of other quality features:

These include quality BaK-4 Prisms, fully multi-coated optics and extra low dispersion glass (ED) that all add up to produce a very high quality and bright image.

This is important because as well as a wide field of view, to be a really great bird watching binocular, you need to have a very high quality image to enable you to enjoy the bird that you are observing at it's best. Another important feature to look out for is a binocular that produces a bright image that will perform well in poor light conditions like daybreak or late afternoon/evening when most birds are at their most active. These Swifts with their quality optics and large 44mm objective lenses will do just that.

Swift Audubon Binoculars on Amazon

Minox 8x33 BL Binoculars

Whilst these Minox binoculars may not have the very wide field of view of the the Swift binocular above, they have a bunch of advantages over them, that for some people may make them a better choice.

Their FOV is still very impressive however being 421ft at 1,000 yards (8.0°) which should be more than enough for most birders, but where these really excell is in their compact size lightness and because of their open bridge design are very easy to carry around with you.

They also feature a whole host of quality optical components that help to produce an excellent quality and bright image for a binocular that only has 33mm objective lenses.

Highlights of these include fully Multi-coated Lenses which is what you want on you binoculars because this means that ALL the air to glass surfaces on the lenses and prisms are multilayer-coated with anti-reflective coatings.

Bak-4 roof prisms are also used meaning they are made of superior optical glass that produces clearer images. As well as this the prisms also have a Phase-correction coating that in simple terms helps to keep the light in correct color phase and has the result of reducing the loss of image resolution to maintain high-contrast images. It is a feature that is only found on high end roof prism binoculars.

Because of these quality features and great price point, I really love these binoculars and not only for birdwatching - in fact they won the award for best safari and travel binocular on the Best binocular reviews website. So as you can see these will make great general use optics that will more than hold their own if you only plan to use them for birding.

Read my full review of the Minox 8x33 BL Binoculars

Bird Binocular Comments

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    • birdslover profile image

      birdslover 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Agreed with ChristinCordle12, Its important to have a good Binocular to enjoy bird watching.

    • ChristinCordle12 profile image

      ChristinCordle12 6 years ago

      Binoculars are very important gadgets for hunting.