Best Binoculars For Bird Watching 2018 (Reviews & Comparison)

best binoculars for bird watching

The best binocular for bird watching is an important optical tool that every birder should have. Getting yourself a great pair of binoculars will provide you with much higher quality images while watching these stunning creatures, some binoculars will even give you a more Natural 3D view of the birds.

One of the advantage of binocular over other spotting scopes is its portability which allows you to carry it along.

There are numerous birding binoculars out there in the stores for sale, but the question that needs to be answered is which of these binoculars are best for birding?

Top 10 Comparison of Best Binoculars For Bird Watching 

ModelSize[email protected]Weight 
Gosky Binoculars10x42mm307 ft1.54 lbs
Celestron Nature DX8x56mm320 ft2.5 lbs
Wingspan Optics WideViews HD8x42mm430 ft1.62 lbs
Nikon Monarch 7 ED8x42mm420 ft1.43 lbs
Vortex Viper HD10x42mm319 ft2.6 lbs
Swarovski Optik El Swarovision8.5x42mm399 ft3 lbs
BNISE HD Compact10x42mm303 ft2.12 lbs
Leica Ultravid BR8x20mm341 ft0.5 lb
Canon Image Stabilization II10x30mm315 ft1.32 lbs
Bushnell PowerView20x50mm168 ft1.88 lbs


Reviews of the Best Binoculars For Bird Watching in 2018

1. Gosky 10×42 Binoculars for Bird Watching – best budget binoculars for birding.

The Gosky 10×42 binocular is a spectacular device for bird watching. This is due to its solid construction and 10x magnification power together with, a Fully Multi-Coated (FMC) green film lens and clear prism it features.

As such, if you want to experience the details of a more accurate real event about a target in a distant world, the Gosky 10×42 without a doubt exudes such abilities.

With such power, it cannot only be used for bird watching, but also for other outdoor activities such as; hiking, climbing, and watching wildlife, driving and whatnots. Encompassed amongst its features is a durable magnalium framework and rubber armor which enables it to withstand harshest weather conditions.

It also features the latest Gosky 2017 swift alignment smartphone adapter. It is compatible with Android smartphones such as; Samsung, LG, HTC as well as the iPhone such as the iPhone 7, 6, 6s, 6plus, 5, and 5s.

I think Gosky 10×42 is one of the best binocular for bird watching available in the market now.

  • Provides premium quality images.
  • Can be used with or without eyeglasses.
  • Shockproof, waterproof as well as dust-proof.
  • Due to its lightweight, very easy to carry around while enjoying the great outdoors.
  • Smartphone mount.
  • Exit pupil value of 4 is good but not the best for night viewing.


2. Celestron Nature DX 8×56 Binocular – top rated binoculars for bird watching.

The Celestron Nature DX Binoculars is a new series that’s designed with praiseworthy high-quality features to meet virtually all aspects of outdoor activities including birding, camping, sporting and hunting.

This series of Celestron was made with every minute detail that thrills outdoor activity lovers. It offers the best resolutions and highest contrast images that are well accentuated by the multi-coated optic lenses.

These lenses also provide exceptional image quality because they allow brightness and good levels of contrast to get through the lens and bring all of your subjects into detail.

Its BAK-4 glass prisms enhance the image quality by providing outstanding clear images that are near to reality with greater color fidelity.

With an eye relief focus of 23mm you can easily focus your subjects in detail without straining. These added eye reliefs feature makes it easy to use and more friendly to eyeglass wearers.

The constructive features of the Celestron Nature DX are made from quality and durable materials. These binoculars feature a streamlines housing consists of a rubberized coating that is Water Proof Fog proof and thus keep safe your gadget from rough and tough handling.

It also protects the binoculars from shock absorption. The Celestron Nature DX binocular is filled with nitrogen purging to prevent moisture from entering the device thus guarding it and creating it an all-weather pair of binocular that you can always use comfortably.

Its ergonomic design is even improved by the large and smooth central focusing knob, quick adjustment twist-up eyecups for better eye relief to obtain clear, precise and detailed full field views from your location.

The rubber covering Celestron Nature DX protects the binocular from the roughest and toughest form of handling.

  • Can be used for other sporting activities aside from birding.
  • Provides high level of detail of views in focus.
  • Can be used by all (including Eyeglass wearers.)
  • Made up of 100% quality Material.
  • It is both fog and waterproof.
  • Difficult to use at night.



3. Wingspan Optics WideViews HD 8×42 Professional Binoculars – best cheap binoculars for bird watching.

The Wingspan optics wide views HD 8×42 professional binocular, unlike other binocular types, it’s specifically designed to capture all the needs of a bird watcher.

It offers ultra HD performance due to its 8x magnification power and a 42mm objective lens thus, providing optimal clarity. When you are bird viewing with the Wingspan HD 8×42, it enables you to maintain focus on your target with great precision and speed.

With its sealed nitrogen-filled body, it’s, therefore, both fog proof and waterproof – meaning you can carry it along whenever and wherever without having to worry. With its great eye relief feature, it accommodates both, those who wear eyeglasses and those who don’t.

All told, the Wingspan optics HD 8×42 professional binoculars is designed with bird watchers needs in mind.


  • Waterproof and completely fog proof.
  • Can be used with or without eyeglasses.
  • Provides sharp HD optical quality.
  • Extra wide field view.
  • Phenomenal ease of focus.
  • Few reports of lens covers that don’t fit.



4. Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 ED ATB Binoculars – best birding binoculars under 500.

Nikon Monarch 7 ATB binocular is one of the best-selling binocular for birding activities all over the world. This type of binoculars comes with a high reflective dielectric multiple layers that is fitted with a prism coating that offers exceptional view similar to that of the naked eyesight with perfectly clear images with high contrast.

This feature offers highly accurate and clearer displays with superb colorful reproductions. This device is fitted with precision optics that are arranged perfectly hence providing an extended range of view.

The constructive features of the Nikon are sealed with O-rings making the binocular waterproof. It is also features a nitrogen filling which makes it fog proof and protects the device from any moisture penetration.

The latest series consists of a unique rugged style of housing with unparalleled durability thus making it very easy to transport and so you can comfortably carry your binos all day long. The housing is further protected by a protective rubber armor which also provides a firm grip and also acts as a shock absorber.

The optical features of these binoculars from Nikon consist of multi-coated optics and exceptional BAK-4 Porro type prisms providing sharp, quality, and crisp views. The eyecups of this binocular have an easily manipulated multi-setting which can be updated with just a single click.

These binoculars are for all weather conditions and they can withstand nearly all adversities nature presents you with while out in the wild.

If you are planning to travel, go fishing, birding or just enjoy yourself with any outdoor activity, this is the perfect binoculars that is buoyant,  doesn’t corrode, fog proof, and waterproof and can easily withstand any accidental slip while producing almost perfect views with fine details.

  • Produces brighter and colorful images.
  • It is portable and can easily be carried along.
  • Water and fog proof.
  • The binocular lasts for a very of time.
  • Can be used in all weather conditions.
  • Ease of adjustment.
  • Impressive night performance but the night viewing experience isn’t the best with this binocular.



5. Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular – best rated binoculars for bird watching.

The Vortex Viper HD Binocular is an award-winning binocular that is made up of a High-Density, extra-low dispersion (ED) glass.

It produces impressive image resolutions with perfect reproduction of color fidelity. The Vortex can deliver crisp, bright and highly detailed images which is made possible by its XR fully multi-coated optics.

It is light in weight, rugged and compact. It’s fitted with all the distinct features required for birding.

The optical features of these binoculars include High-density lens elements with extra-low dispersion (ED) glass which delivers awesome resolutions that are made even better with fine detailed color fidelities.

It has an XR full multi-coating for increasing and regulating transmissions of light coupled with multiple AR coatings on the air to glass surfaces. Their dielectric prism coatings consist of a multilayer that provides precise, colorful, and clear images. Besides this, the binoculars have a phase correction coating to enhance the almost perfect contrast and resolution.

The construction features a roof prism system and the binoculars are durable and compact in size. These binoculars are fitted with O-ring seals making them waterproof and preventing moisture and dust particles from penetrating, thus making the device fit in all weather conditions.

The argon gas filling this device features prevents any form of fogging even when used in areas with irregular temperatures. The rubber armor fitted on the housing of the binocular provides the much needed external protection thus makes this binocular secure non-slip and durable.

  • Not easily breakable.
  • produces bright and clear image.
  • It is compact and very portable.
  • Can easily be manipulated.
  • Moisture and fog proof.
  • Quite expensive.



6. Swarovski Optik El 8.5×42 Swarovision Binoculars – High end good binoculars for bird watching.

The Swarovski family has a reputation of coming up with binoculars that are masterpieces of precision and innovation.

The Swarovski Optik El 8.5×42 is certainly no exemption. With the Optik EL 8.5×42 in your hands, you are holding a masterpiece, and versatile pair of binoculars, empowering you to cope with all sorts of different types of hunting and birding.

With a 20mm of eye-relief, the Optik EL 8.5×42 binocular makes a perfect choice for eyeglass wearers as there is plenty of space for you to be able to set your eyes at the right distance behind the ocular lens, while having your glasses on.

It’s waterproof as well as fog proof. The shortest focusing distance on the Optik EL 8.5×42 binoculars is only 4.9ft / 1.5m, which is fantastic and substantially closer than the majority of their competition. This feature alone qualifies this binocular as one of the best for birding.


  • Very comfortable to use and offers excellent views.
  • Superb clarity.
  • Great construction quality.
  • Waterproof function and device is fog proof too.
  • Very close minimum focus distance.
  • A good number of users think the device is really



7. BNISE 10×42 HD Professional Binoculars – best lightweight birding binoculars.

The BNISE binoculars with a 10x magnification and a diameter of the lenses of 42 mm is a very underrated binocular for bird watching. This model has a nitrogen filling, which can be an important issue in bird watching in nature.

This BNISE binoculars 10×42 by BNISE are perfect for bird watching thanks to its high resolution and brilliant quality. The BAK-4 roof prisms used in this model provide an extremely good representation of all colors, which brings details alive; literally!

A magnification of 10x and a lens diameter of 42 mm are the suitable specs for an ideal binoculars for birding.

The field of view at 1000 meters in this model is about 94 meters which is absolutely fine for bird watching. The Minimum distance you can focus with this model is 4 meters, which could be quiet by 0.5 to 1 meter less, but of course also very satisfactory.

The binoculars are relatively light with a total weight of about 615 grams – they are suitable for a host of outdoor activities including bird watching.

The compact size of this binoculars makes it very easy to store and it’s a great companion for any trip you decide to embark on.

  • Has a wide field of view.
  • Provides quality images with high resolution.
  • Lightweight and compact size.
  • can be used for other sporting activities like hunting, stargazing and
  • Has a shock absorbing rubber armored housing which absorbs vibration.
  • Blurred images with increasing magnification.



8. Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 Binocular – best compact binoculars for birding.

The Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 binocular, is a quintessence of the saying, ‘small but mighty’.

It’s an aesthetically engineered compact binocular, light weighted, however, rugged – suitable for those who wants to explore nature.

It’s very small compared to other binoculars so much so that, it can fit into pocket or even a hip belt of any backpack.

This is because the binocular encompasses roof prisms, which allow for its compact size of 60x94x34 mm and a total weight of 245g only. The Leica BR 8×20 has a field of view of 6.3 degrees or 110m at 1000m.

Hence, optically, it’s incredibly sharp, and magnificently bright for a gadget of its size. For its size surprisingly, it has a pretty generous eye relief, which it can be used with or without eyeglasses. In addendum, the Leica BR 8×20 is waterproof for up to about 5m depth approximately.


  • Very easy to carry around.
  • Superb clarity.
  • Highly durable.
  • Waterproof and doesn’t fog due to fluctuations in temperature.
  • Impressively wide FOV for a binocular its size.
  • A bit pricy.



9. Canon 10×30 Image Stabilization II Binoculars – best compact binoculars for bird watching.

Canon 10×30 IS II Binoculars is also one of the most prominent and easy to use binocular which come with an unmatched image stabilization features that give a perfect and a high-quality image. It offers an excellent optical performance and distinct stabilization capabilities. A rubber coating houses the binocular and provides better grip, protection against dust particles and water as well as shock absorption.

These binoculars have improved optical features consisting of stabilizer controls that allow easy adjustments,  hence giving a prominent ergonomic look. The binocular is fitted with super spectra multi-coating lens for more contrast; a double field flattener is available to prevent any form of distortion on the sharp images. Also available is the Porro prism type and the high magnification and wide objective lens diameter. The long eye relief allows even glass wearers to have perfect views and adjustments can be made quite easily.

The images delivered by these binoculars even from as far as a mile are very clear, crisp and the quality is unbeatable. The high magnification power of 10x, allows the binoculars to bring distant objects in to focus easily and the issue of stability doesn’t arise. Alongside the binoculars, you also get free lithium batteries and a quality carrying case.

  • Versatile binocular that can be used easily by everybody.
  • Easy to make adjustments.
  • Provides a wide FOV.
  • Excellent optical performance.
  • Comes with other free accessories.
  • Hardly any complaints about these binos but for long trips, you might need extra batteries for sustained power.



10. Bushnell PowerView 20×50 Super High-Powered Surveillance – best bird watching binoculars under $100.

The Bushnell power view binocular is a unique device of its kind produced by one of the most celebrated binoculars producing company. With the great improvement in the development as well as the customization of these excellent binoculars, the Super high powered binoculars now come with distinct features that enhance the image quality.

This kind of binoculars brings you closer to reality with their highly improved quality images that are clearer and crispier than before. These super high powered Bushnell Binoculars have outstandingly high magnification strengths with varying levels.

On combining these varied magnifications and the unique design and sizes of objective lenses, you can achieve clear images which makes these devices suitable for a lot of outdoor activities including stargazing, fishing, watching birds and hunting.

The optical features of these high powered binoculars are fully multi-coated Porro prisms which guarantee you’d have clear, bright and high contrasted images through their reliable, superior and efficient light transmission systems. This makes the binocular unique and strong with the ability to see from farther locations. The commendably wide objectives provides an impressively wide field of view while the long distance feature gets your subjects into focus without the need reduce edges of the terrain under focus.

The lens has a very large aperture which allows even more light to enter into these binocular thus making it them perfect under low light conditions.

These binoculars have terrific image quality and high-performance optics that is very well known in birding and the sporting industry at large. It is durable and without any doubt one of  the best binoculars for birding.

  • High-quality
  • varied
  • It is a multipurpose type of binocular as it can be used for other sporting activities.
  • It has a wide field of view.
  • Very portable and lightweight.
  • The images become slightly blurry especially at the edges with increasing magnifications.



What to Look For when Buying one of the Best Binoculars For Bird Watching

  • Magnification

The magnification plays a big role in the focus, so you should pay attention to the right size. Binoculars with a 12x magnification need to be refocused more often than binoculars with an 8x or 10x magnification. Especially when refocusing, the picture can blur so fast and the bird can be gone again.

With an 8x magnification you usually do not go wrong, especially as a beginner. If you already have a little experience or just want to try it out, you can reach for a bird watching binocular with a 10x magnification without hesitation.

  • Picture Quality

The image quality depends on a number of factors. The main factor, however, is the prism system. In the bird watching one should put here on a roof prism. These are usually of higher quality and therefore also more durable than the much heavier Porro prisms. One pays this advantage, however, also by a higher price. In general, you should rather invest a little more money, because binoculars are usually a very long-lived investment.

  • Handiness

In the search for rare bird species you have to be mobile. The bird is rarely seen in the garden directly from the rocking chair in front of the lens and is occasionally also in rough terrain on the way. It is important, above all, as well as on longer hikes, that the binoculars are not too heavy and big. If you carry a heavy binoculars around your neck, it can quickly lead to unpleasant pressure points in the neck. Too much weight will make your arms tired quickly if you look through it for a little longer.

A higher magnification always comes with additional weight and usually a larger housing. It is therefore recommended to choose a maximum magnification of 8x, which in most cases is sufficient. It is best to opt for a compact binoculars. This can be easily transported in the essential pocket, is nevertheless drawn out with lightning speed and can be effortlessly held in the hands over a longer period of time.

  • Ease of Adjustment

Anyone who watches birds knows that you can never say exactly at which distance a bird appears. In addition, birds move very fast. If you always want to have a focused image, you should definitely make sure that the focus is very finely adjustable and the slider is very easy to turn.

This should best be tested directly on the binoculars, to see if you can cope with it in an emergency. In addition, a lower magnification is also advantageous here again: with an 8x magnification you have to refocus significantly less often and less than with a 10x magnification. The picture is almost always crisp.

  • Field of View

With a wider field of view, it is easier to focus for example, if a bird is on top of a tree, it would be a lot easier to make use of your binoculars and quickly see it. Obviously, it means you won’t have to waste your time searching for the bird because, many subjects are not going to remain still, waiting to be observed.

Therefore, making use of a slightly lower magnification means that you will have a much wider field of view. This is usually why bird watchers tend to opt for magnification in the range of 8x to 10x.

  • Focusing

Due to the many swinging around you have to re-focus especially often. A binocular for bird watching should therefore be easy and, above all, focus quickly and easily. The controller should therefore be easy to turn and be easily accessible with your fingers.

birding binoculars reviews

  • Color fidelity image quality

In bird watching, you want to see many details and the clearest possible picture. In addition, the color fidelity plays a crucial role, since cheap binoculars can distort the colors a bit. This aspect should not be despised because you want to see the plumage of the birds in the true color splendor.

  • Ergonomics and eyeglass friendliness

The good news now is that most binoculars features very generous eye-relief. Just as it’s with wines for example, the many elusive variations in binocular designs make it all the more crucial to “taste” as many as you can before making a purchase.

Therefore, if you wear eyeglasses while bird viewing, eye-relief is the all-important yardstick for you to consider seriously.

  • Construction Quality

The importance of the construction quality of any precision optical system cannot be overemphasized. High-performance optics warrants great meticulous approach to the procedures involved in the manufacturing process with the view to deliver consistent level of quality of the finished product.

The slightest misalignment of any component in the construction can seriously affect the performance of the binocular.

  • Close Focus Distance

 Close focus range refers to the shortest distance at which a binocular is capable of providing a sharply focused image of an object. Generally, as magnification increases, so also does the minimum close focus distance.

Most especially bird watchers as occasions might arise when you will want to see the detail of a bird less than 15 or even 10 feet away. A good birding binocular should have a minimum close focus of 15 feet, 10 feet would be better.


Where to Buy Bird Watching Binoculars

The best offer in the market without doubt has Amazon, you will not find such an economic price elsewhere.

In addition, it has a system of guarantees and returns that is really efficient and that give a lot of peace of mind when making these transactions. You can compare all available products before making your final decision.

Finally, you must be attentive to the offers! Surely you find binoculars promoted at a really incredible price and finally you decide to buy a pair of binoculars.

Just recall before buying of all factors laid out in this article before making a purchase so as to ensure a fantastic birding experience.


Alternative to Binoculars for Bird Watching

Spotting Scopes

Virtually, the extreme close-up view of a rare bird in the wild is irreplaceable. Hence, Binoculars can get you close but, if you want to look the bird in the eye or confirm that identification for your life list, you need a spotting scope.

Finally, spotting scopes give a wonderful magnification in a lightweight and simple package that is lasting for field work while boasting outstanding optical performance for birding and other sporting activities.


Apparently, a monocular amounts to half of a binocular which means one of two optical tubes that forms a binocular. A monocular provides you half of whatever a binocular has to offer, meaning less than half the weight, there is no bridge, and mostly a proportional cost savings.

The advantage is that one-eye viewing is perhaps more wearing compared to viewing with two eyes. However, if your vision is imbalanced as a result to defect in one eye, then monocular makes a lot of sense.



Bird watching is so much fun and it relaxes the nerves. However, you virtually miss out on all the fun if you’ve don’t invest in the appropriate binocular. Over and above, the best binoculars are the ones you feel most satisfied with and also the ones that keep you enthusiastic about bird viewing.

To achieve that, do your research, examine the various available options, test run before making a purchase and acquire the best binocular for bird watching your budget can handle.

Best Binoculars For Bird Watching 2018 (Reviews & Comparison)
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