The best binoculars for bird watching are an important optical tool that every birder should have and getting a great pair provides you with much higher quality images. Some binoculars give you a more natural 3D view of the birds.
One of the advantages of a binocular over a spotting scope is its portability, which allows you to carry them with ease.
There are many birding binoculars out there, but the question that needs answering is which binoculars are best for birding?
Top-Rated Binoculars For Bird Watching 2020
Reviews of the Best Binoculars For Bird Watching in 2020
1. Gosky 10×42 Binoculars for Bird Watching
If you want to experience all the details more accurately, then the Gosky 10×42 has, without a doubt, such abilities.
It is fantastic for bird watching and other outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, watching wildlife, and traveling. Encompassed amongst its features are a durable magnalium framework and rubber armor, enabling it to withstand the 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, and the iPhone.
I think the Gosky 10×42 is one of the best binoculars for bird watching available on the market today.
2. Celestron Nature DX 8×56 Binocular
The Celestron Nature DX Binocular is a new series designed with praiseworthy high-quality features to meet virtually all aspects of outdoor activities, including birding, camping, sporting, and hunting.
It offers the best resolutions and highest contrast images that are well accentuated by the multi-coated optic lenses.
Their lenses also provide exceptional image quality because they allow brightness and proper levels of contrast to get through the lens and bring all of your subjects into detail.
Its BAK-4 glass prisms enhance image quality by providing outstanding clear images near reality with high color fidelity.
The eye relief focus of 23mm makes them easy to use and friendly to eyeglass wearers.
The constructive features of the Celestron Nature DX are from quality and durable materials, and feature a streamlined housing consisting of rubberized coatings with waterproof and fog proof features to keep your gadget safe.
The Celestron Nature DX binocular is filled with nitrogen purging to prevent moisture from entering the device, creating an all-weather pair of binoculars.
Its ergonomic design is improved by the large and smooth central focusing knob and quick adjustment twist-up eyecups for better eye relief to obtain clear, precise, and detailed full-field views.
3. Wingspan Optics WideViews HD 8×42
The Wingspan optics wide views HD 8×42 professional binocular, unlike other binocular types, are specifically designed to capture all bird watchers’ needs.
They offer ultra HD performance due to their 8x magnification power and 42mm objective lens, providing optimal clarity,and allowing you to target with high precision and speed.
With its sealed nitrogen-filled body, it’s both fog proof and waterproof. Its excellent eye relief feature accommodates both those who wear eyeglasses and those who don’t.
The Wingspan optics HD 8×42 professional binoculars are designed with bird watchers needs in mind.
4. Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 ED ATB
The Nikon Monarch 7 ATB binocular is one of the best-selling binoculars for birding activities worldwide. It has high reflective dielectric layers with a prism coating that offers an exceptional view, similar to that of the naked eye, with clear images and high contrast.
This feature offers highly accurate and clearer displays with superb colorful reproductions. This device has precision optics that are arranged perfectly to provide an extended range of view.
Nikon’s construction features are sealed O-rings with nitrogen filling making them waterproof and fog proof while protecting the device from moisture penetration.
The latest series consists of a unique rugged housing style with unparalleled durability, making it very easy and comfortable to transport. The housing is further protected by a protective rubber armor that provides a firm grip and acts as a shock absorber.
These binoculars’ optical features consist of multi-coated optics and exceptional BAK-4 Porro type prisms, providing sharp quality and crisp views. The eyecups have an easily adjusted multi-setting, which can be adjusted with just a single click.
If you plan to travel, go fishing, birding, or enjoy any outdoor activity, this is the perfect binocular. It is buoyant, doesn’t corrode, fog proof, waterproof while producing almost excellent views with fine details.
5. Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 Roof Prism
The Vortex Viper HD Binocular is an award-winning binocular with a High-Density, extra-low dispersion (ED) glass.
It produces impressive image resolutions with a perfect reproduction of color fidelity. The Vortex can deliver crisp, bright, and highly detailed images made possible by its XR fully multi-coated optics.
It is light in weight, rugged, and compact, and is fitted with all the distinct features required for birding.
These binoculars’ optical features include High-density lens elements with extra-low dispersion (ED) glass that deliver impressive resolutions made even better with finely detailed color fidelities.
It has an XR full multi-coating to increase and regulate 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 bright images. These binoculars also have a phase correction coating that enhances the almost perfect contrast and resolution.
The construction features a roof prism system that is durable and compact. These binoculars have O-ring seals making them waterproof and preventing moisture and dust particles from penetrating.
The argon gas filling prevents fogging even when used in areas with fluctuating temperatures. The rubber armor fitted on the binocular housing provides the much needed external protection, making them secure, non-slip, and durable.
6. Swarovski Optik El 8.5×42 Swarovision
– High-end Great Binoculars for Bird Watching.
The Swarovski family has a reputation for coming up with binoculars that are masterpieces of precision and innovation, and the Swarovski Optik El 8. 5×42 is certainly no exemption. They are a masterpiece and a very versatile pair of binoculars, empowering you to cope with all sorts of different types of hunting and birding activities.
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.
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 most of their competition. This feature alone qualifies this binocular as one of the best for birding.
7. BNISE 10×42 HD
– Lightweight Birding Binoculars.
The BNISE binoculars with a 10x magnification and a diameter of the lenses of 42 mm is an underrated binocular for bird watching. This model has a nitrogen filling, which can be an essential requirement for bird watching in nature.
These BNISE binoculars 10×42 are perfect for bird watching thanks to their high resolution and brilliant quality. The BAK-4 roof prisms used in this model provide an outstanding representation of all colors that brings the details alive.
A magnification of 10x and a lens diameter of 42 mm are suitable specifications for your ideal binoculars for birding.
The field of view at 1000 meters for this model is about 94 meters, which is fine for bird watching. The minimum distance you can focus on is 4 meters, which could be short by 0.5 to 1 meter, but still very satisfactory.
These binoculars are relatively light with a total weight of about 615 grams and suitable for a host of outdoor activities like bird watching.
These binoculars’ compact size makes them easy to store and a great companion for any trip you decide to embark on.
8. Leica Ultravid BR 8×20
– 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-weight, rugged, and suitable for those who want to explore nature.
It’s very small compared to other binoculars, so much so that it can fit into a pocket or even a hip belt of any backpack.
These binoculars encompass roof prisms, which enables their compact size of 60x94x34 mm with a total weight of only 245g. The Leica BR 8×20 has a field of view of 6.3 degrees or 110m at 1000m.
Optically it’s incredibly sharp and magnificently bright for a gadget of its size and has a pretty generous eye relief for use with glasses.
The Leica BR 8×20 is also waterproof up to about 5m depth approximately.
9. Canon 10×30 Image Stabilization II
Canon 10×30 IS II Binoculars are also one of the most prominent and easy to use binoculars, which come with unmatched image stabilization features that gives a perfect and high-quality image. They offer excellent optical performance and distinct stabilization capabilities. A rubber coating houses the binocular to provide a better grip, protection against dust, water, as well as shock absorption.
These binoculars have improved optical features consisting of stabilizer controls that allow easy adjustments, giving a prominent ergonomic look. The binocular has a super spectra multi-coating lens for more contrast, and a double field flattener is available to prevent any form of distortion on the sharp images.
It has a Porro prism type with high magnification and wide objective lens diameter. The long eye relief allows glass wearers to have perfect views, and adjustments can be made quite easily.
The images delivered by these binoculars from as far as a mile away 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 quickly, and the issue of stability doesn’t arise.
You also get free lithium batteries and a quality carrying case.
10. Bushnell PowerView 20×50 Super High-Powered Surveillance
– Best Binoculars under $100.
This binocular brings you closer to reality with 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.
By combining these various magnifications and the unique design and sizes of objective lenses, you can achieve clear images making these devices suitable for many outdoor activities, including stargazing, fishing, watching birds, and hunting.
These high-powered binoculars have fully multi-coated Porro prisms that guarantee clear, bright, and high contrast images through their superior and efficient light transmission systems. The impressive wide field of view and long-distance feature gets your subjects into focus without the need to reduce the edges of the terrain under focus.
The lens has a substantial aperture, allowing even more light to enter, making them perfect under low light conditions.
These binoculars have terrific image quality and high-performance optics and are well respected in the birding and sporting industries. It’s a durable binocular and, without doubt, one of the best binoculars available for birding at this price.
What To Look For When Buying A pair of the Best Binoculars For Birding
The magnification plays a significant 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. When refocusing, the picture can blur so fast, and the bird can be gone.
With an 8x magnification, you usually won’t go wrong, especially as a beginner. If you already have a little experience or 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 several factors, and the main factor is the prism system. One should settle on a roof prism for bird watching as they are usually of higher quality and, therefore, also more durable than the much heavier Porro prisms. One pays for this advantage, however, by the higher purchase price. In general, you should invest a little more money, because binoculars are usually a long-lived investment.
Birds are rarely seen in the garden directly in front of the lens and occasionally are in rough terrains, so it is vital on longer hikes that the binoculars are not too heavy or oversized. If you carry heavy binoculars around your neck, they can quickly lead to unpleasant pressure points and make you tired quickly when viewing.
A higher magnification always comes with additional weight and usually a larger housing. It is recommended to choose a maximum magnification of 8x, which in most cases is sufficient. It is best to opt for compact binoculars as they can be easily transported in the essential pocket and effortlessly held in the hands for extended periods of time.
- Ease of Adjustment
Anyone who watches birds knows that you can never say precisely at which distance a bird appears. Also, birds move very fast. If you always want to have a focused image, then make sure that the focus is finely adjustable and the slider is easily turned.
This should best be tested directly on the binoculars to see if you can cope with it in an emergency. Also, a lower magnification is advantageous here again, and with an 8x magnification, you have to refocus significantly less often than with a 10x magnification. At the same time, the picture is almost always crisp.
- Field of View
A wider field of view makes it is easier to focus, and it is a lot easier to use your binoculars quickly to see the object. Meaning you won’t have to waste time searching for the bird as many subjects will stay around to be observed.
Therefore, using a slightly lower magnification means that you will have a much wider field of view, which is usually why bird watchers tend to choose a magnification in the range of 8x to 10x.
Due to much swinging around, you may have to re-focus often, so a binocular for bird watching should, above all, focus quickly and easily. The controller should also be easy to turn and quickly accessible with your fingers.
- Color Fidelity and Image Quality
You want to see as many details as possible in bird watching and get the clearest picture available. Also, color fidelity plays a crucial role since cheap binoculars can distort the colors a bit.
- Ergonomics and Eyeglass Friendliness
The good news now is that most binoculars feature very generous eye-relief, the many elusive variations of the binocular design make it all the more crucial to try before you buy
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 quality of construction for any precision optical system cannot be overemphasized. High-performance optics warrant a meticulous approach to the procedures involved in their manufacturing process.
The slightest misalignment of any component in its construction can seriously affect the performance of the binocular.
- Close Focus Distance
Close focus range refers to the shortest distance at which a binocular can provide a sharply focused image of an object. Generally, as magnification increases, so also does the minimum close focus distance.
When occasions arise, bird watchers will want to see the detail of a bird less than 15 or even 10 feet away, and a good birding binocular should have a minimum close focus of 15 feet. Ten feet would be better.
Where to Buy Bird Watching Binoculars
Without a doubt, the best offers in the market are on Amazon.
Their system of guarantees and returns is efficient and gives peace of mind when making transactions and you can compare all available products before making your final decision.
Indeed you can find binoculars promoted at an incredible price but consider all the factors laid out in this article before purchasing to ensure a fantastic birding experience.
Alternative to Binoculars for Bird Watching
Virtually, the extreme close-up view of a rare bird in the wild is irreplaceable, and while binoculars can get you close, if you want to look the bird in the eye or confirm that identification for your life list, you need a spotting scope.
Spotting scopes give a wonderful magnification in a lightweight and simple package while boasting outstanding optical performance for birding and other sporting activities.
A monocular amounts to half of a binocular, which means one of the two optical tubes that form a binocular. This provides you half of what a binocular has to offer, half the weight, no bridge, and proportional cost savings.
The monocular is a great choice when your vision is imbalanced or you have a defect in one eye.
Bird watching can be so much fun because it relaxes the nerves, however, you will miss out on all the fun if you don’t invest in the appropriate binocular.
The best binoculars are the ones you feel most satisfied with and keep you enthusiastic about bird viewing.
To acquire the best binocular for bird watching that your budget can handle, you will need to examine all the various available options