How to Choose Binoculars for Bird Watching?

How to Choose Binoculars for Bird Watching?

Bird watching is an activity that many people enjoy. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family, go on adventures, and take in nature.

But for beginners who are just getting into birding, it can be overwhelming to figure out which bird watching binoculars to buy. There are so many options available that knowing what you should look for can feel like a daunting task!

This article will walk you through the key considerations when choosing your first set of binoculars, as well as provide answers to some of your queries. So let’s get started.

How to Choose Binoculars for Bird Watching?

You will need to keep some crucial factors in mind to properly scrutinize the available options and get a well-performing bird watching binocular. The factors we are referring are:

Price Point

Before anything else, you need to set a budget. As you know, there is an overabundance of options when it comes to binos for birding. And that is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. The bad part is that it will make the choosing process hard, while the good part is it increases the competition.

For that reason, you will notice the major brands offering options in most of the budget ranges. You will find high-performance optics in basically all of the price points. So, pick one that you are comfortable with and stick to it.

Quality of the Optics

When it comes to binoculars, the quality of the optics plays a crucial role. The higher the quality of the lenses, the better the image quality will be. And the binos that integrate low or average-quality optics will offer sub-par pictures. The resolution will not be high, and you will not have an enjoyable birding experience.

Colors and Clarity

Even with the right optics, some of the binoscan not offer a true color production. And in terms of color, the technologies that the optics integrate count the most. The better the image and lens technologies the lenses will incorporate, the better the color will be.

In fact, many of them can even offer true-to-life colors, which is pretty vital for birding. Secondly, these technologies also enhance the overall clarity of the images. They do a proper job of increasing the resolution and allowing you to view every detail. So, prioritize the technologies before making a purchase.


Another important thing that you would need to consider is the coatings of the lenses. These coatings will ensure that the internal reflection is close to zero. And as you might already know, internal reflections can degrade the quality of the images substantially.


Naturally, shoppers think that the higher the magnification power, the better. Well, having a zoomed-in view is the main priority of these binos. So, they are not entirely wrong with their thinking. However, higher magnification would also mean unstabilized images.

The shakiness can hinder you from adequately capturing the details.A safe range to stick to in terms of magnification would be from 7x to 10x. These magnifications are considered to be suitable for bird watching as they do not compensate that much of image quality just for a zoomed-in view.

Light Transmission

Even if a lens is capable of capturing a higher resolution image, the images will not be adequately bright if the light transmission is low. You will also struggle to get a zoomed-in view if the bino can not transmit light properly through the lenses. So, put proper emphasis on the light transmission capability of the binos.

Field of View

The field of view dictates how easy it will be for you to spot a bird. Imagine looking through a straw. Wouldn’t it be hard to spot a bird through it? Well, that depicts a bino that has a narrow field of view. If you want tospot the birds in the wild easily, we would highly recommend opting for something with high FOV.

Eye Relief

Most of the high-end binos will come with retracting eyecups. Those offer an adjustable eye relief, which can surely come in handy if you wear glasses. Even if you do not wear glasses,flexible eye relief can come in handy in different scenarios. So, we recommend picking something that has adjustable eye relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What strength binoculars do I need for bird watching?

It is pretty natural to think that higher magnification power would render a better bird-watching experience. But the case is a bit different. Higher magnification would also mean shaky image, lower FOV, and higher weight. Considering all of the factors, the ideal range of strength would be from 7x to 10x.

2. Are 10X42 binoculars good for bird watching?

10×42 means the bino has 10x magnification power and the size of the lens is 42 mm. This specific combination will have relatively less bright images and are not at allsuitable for low-light environments.We would recommend considering the 1:5 ratio for getting a redefined bird-watching experience.

The 1:5 ratio basically dictates that the size of the lens needs to be five times the magnification power. In this case, if the magnification power is 10x, the lens needs to be at least 50mm.

3. Are Bushnell binoculars good for bird watching?

The manufacturer Bushnell indeed offers an extensive lineup of well-performing binos. But if you want to get the most out of your money, do consider the critical factors before making a purchase.

4. Do all bird-watching binos have higher magnification power?

Not really. Some might even have 3x to 6x power. And as you know, that range of magnification power is not ideal for bird watching.

5. How often should I clean the lenses of my birding binocular?

Usually, you should not clean the lenses that often because you will risk putting scratches on the lens. Clean it only when the images are distorted and the lenses seem too dirty.

Bottom Line

We know how hard it can be to choose a bino in the market where there are tons of options available. But one thing we can assure you is that if you consider the critical factors we have covered in the buying guide, getting one of the worthy bird watching binoculars will become a piece of cake.

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