Choosing binoculars for birding

Choosing Binoculars for Birding: Binoculars come in thousands of varieties, but when it comes to birding, binoculars come in three types: Too small or cheap to see birds; good bird binoculars; and luxury bird binoculars.  Because you need a certain amount of power and quality in your binocular for birding, anything cheaper than $200 will not be worth the investment.  From $200-$500, however, there is an excellent selection of well designed binoculars that should last you a lifetime.   At this price range look for binoculars that have multi-coated lenses, are fully waterproof, and have nitrogen-purged barrels (prevents the interior from fogging up, thus ruining the binoculars).  From $1000+, there are the luxury binoculars: Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss…with Nikon occasionally putting in an appearance, but never quite catching up with the elite three.  I would suggest trying out as many different pairs of binoculars that you can to find one that works well for your face, hands, birding habits, and budget. is where we purchase our binoculars for the nature program and I highly recommend them.  The staff is knowledgeable and won’t try to sell you something you don’t need.  They also have frequent sales and donate a portion of their profits to education and conservation.

September birding on Kiawah: Grebes, kinglets  return. Mississippi kites, chuck-will’s-widow, leave.  Shorebirds gain non-breeding plumage.  Last of the migratory shorebirds.  Falcon migration begins in earnest.  Fall songbird migration continuing, especially common yellowthroats.  Painted Buntings, parulas, kingbirds, martins, yellow-throated warblers, tanagers, orioles leave.  Woodstorks and ibis common.  Phoebes, flickers return.  Discover what our Naturalists are seeing in the field at Wildlife: As We See It.