As I am already looking ahead to conducting Bergen Audubon’s “Birding for Beginners” classes in 2016, and since the Holiday gift buying season is now coming down to the wire, I thought it might be a good time to talk about binoculars for birding. At every class and almost every nature walk the age old question always arises to what at times seems almost as complicated as considering the question of the meaning of life: “What are the best optics for birding?”
If you’re technically challenged like me, when you read things like exit pupil, eye relief and field of vision your brain immediately turns to oatmeal, your eyes glaze over, and you begin to drool and look out the window aimlessly. But if you are in the market for new binoculars those are the terms you are going to hear, along with more fun stuff like ED glass, phase corrected and lens coatings. So without getting too technical – I don’t want you dozing off and injuring yourself on your computer – I will try to keep it simple and get you started on what to look for in a birding binocular.