Aug 262010
 

Bird watching (birdwatching), also known as birding, is the observation and study of birds with the naked eye or with the use of bird watching binoculars. Birding includes an auditory component, since birds can be easily and readily identified using the ear rather than the eye. Most people follow birdwatching as a hobby.

Birdwatching can be traced back to the Victorian Era, in Britain, when the study of birds and natural history became fashionable. Collectors would gather eggs, skins and feathers from different colonies. In the 1800s, there was a call to protect birds. This led to the observation and study of birds.

Meanwhile in the United States, as early as 1889, there was already a field guide written by Florence Bailey entitled “Birds Through an Opera Glass”. At that time the focus of bird watching in the United States was mainly in the eastern seaboard region.

Now there are not only local birdwatching guides but also global guides for identifying birds. The availability of air travel enables hobbyists and serious birdwatchers to travel to different places and observe wild birds in their natural habitat.

Birding includes taking precise notes of different details that distinguish one species from the others. Mastering the skills of identifying characteristics of birds will help you determine which birds you are observing. A serious birdwatcher may sit for hours, frequently crouched and hidden from view, in the hopes of spotting a rare or beautiful bird.

Birdwatching is the fastest growing outdoor activity in America. According to a survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 51.3 million Americans report that they watch birds. More are taking it up all the time.

So, why are more and more people taking an interest in this activity?

Historically, birds are considered bringers of omens. Ancient Romans believed that the flights and call of birds could foretell the future. Nowadays, modern science uses birds to help predict the future. By noting changes in bird populations it can reflect on the health of the environment.

Most people start birding for simple reasons, like having fun or creating a connection with the wonders of nature. Birding is beneficial for your health because birdwatching gets you outside and walking. Birdwatching is a relaxing sport. Your mind settles when you are out in nature and with birds. The senses open up, you may even find that you enjoy going out alone.

Birdwatching is a great family activity. It unites people across generations. By taking up this activity parents, grandparents and children can all be involved. Some people go birdwatching for social reasons. Nearly every community has a birding club.

There are local bird clubs or magazines devoted to birdwatching that can help you get started. A bird book or a field guide will help you learn more about identifying birds. A field guide provides information, pictures and descriptions of the birds. There are now applications for your smart phone that will help you to identify birds. Birdwatching basics are also available on DVDs or videos.

Now you are ready to go outside and enjoy the birds!

Jun 052010
 

Which binoculars will perform well for bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts?  Should you buy binoculars that are fog-proof, weatherproof, rainproof, climate-proof, rustproof, spray-proof or waterproof?  Here is what you need to know when investing in a good pair of binoculars.

Bird watchers encounter all types of weather conditions.  It would be sad to miss that rare bird sighting because your binoculars have fogged-up or moisture has collected in them.  The proper sealing of binoculars is one of the most important features of good optics. There are no industry wide standards for the sealing process.  Many manufacturers boast fog-proof, weatherproof, rainproof, climate-proof, rustproof, spray-proof, waterproof and many other “certain-proofs”.  Some of these words are just alerting the consumer that there was an attempt to seal the binoculars against harsh weather conditions.

Waterproof binoculars are nitrogen gas purged and use O-rings to seal the optics.  They protect from rain, leakage and fogging. The waterproofing offers better optics in all weather conditions.  Waterproof binoculars ensure clear views in mornings’ heavy dew and during times of elevated humidity.  Waterproof binoculars allow you to enjoy events without worrying about the effects of harsh weather conditions.  The waterproofing even keeps dust and dirt out.  Dirt building up over time in your binoculars will obscure the view.

Buy binoculars that are waterproof!  Waterproof means the following two things about the optics.

* Additional protection and maximum measures were taken by the company to seal the binoculars.
* If the seal of a waterproof binocular fails, the warranty by most companies will cover resealing the binoculars.

There are a few basic precautions that bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts need to take to ensure that the optic seal is not damaged.

* Buy a waterproof binocular that is easy to grip and feels comfortable in your hands.  This eliminates them slipping and dropping out of your hands which may loosen the seals.
* Always carry and use lens caps and rain guards to protect your binoculars in damp or dusty conditions.
* Get a comfortable and secure binocular harness.  A good binocular harness will keep the binoculars close to your body and prevent them from bouncing and banging into things.  This jarring could also loosen and effect the binocular seals.
* Be careful where you store your binoculars.  When not in use place them in a durable and waterproof case.
* Never leave your binoculars in the car or any other place that has extreme temperature swings.  These conditions will put a high amount of stress on the gaskets and seals in your binoculars.

For any birder or outdoor enthusiast waterproof binoculars is a must, even if rarely used in bad weather.

There are many good waterproof binoculars on the market.  The waterproof binoculars that I recommend are the Nikon 7294 Monarch 5 or the 7430 Monarch 8×42 waterproof ATB binoculars.  These binoculars are waterproof and “if” anything should happen to them the Nikon warranty is superb.  The warranty states: “Nikon is dedicated to quality, performance and total customer satisfaction. If your Nikon Binocular, Spotting Scope or Fieldscope requires service or repair not covered by our 25-Year Limited Warranty, Nikon will repair or replace it (even if it was your fault) for just $10, plus return shipping and handling.”

Other posts you may find helpful are: The Nikon 7294 Monarch III Waterproof Binocular Review and Nikon 7430 Monarch 8×42 ATB Binoculars

 


Apr 032010
 

Which binoculars should you choose for bird watching?  Well, let’s put the new Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 binoculars up against the Nikon 7430 Monarch 8×42 All-Terrain binoculars.

The Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 binoculars and the Nikon 7430 Monarch 8×42 All-Terrain binoculars are similar in many ways.  They are both a roof prism binocular.  The specs for lineal field of view of 330 ft./1000yds. and angular field of 6.3 are identical for the 7294 and the 7430.  Both have the exact eye relief (19.6 mm) and exit pupil (5.25mm) as well as eye cups with the multi-setting click stops.   They are alike in their close focus distance of 8.2 ft. and relative brightness of 28.1.  These lightweight binoculars are equal in their weight (21.5 oz.) and size (5.7 x 5.0 in.).

So, what is the difference?  The major difference is the coating on the prism and lens.  The Nikon 7430 Monarch 8×42 All-Terrain binoculars has a full multi-coated lens that highlights brighter and clearer images with less ghosts and blurs.  The new Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 binoculars have a new dielectric high-reflective multilayer coating.  The dielectric high-reflective multilayer coating features even crisper images and sharper colors through the binoculars.  The coating also allows a much improved low-light performance with the Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 Binoculars.  I love the fact that Nikon is continuously out there improving their binoculars.  The full multi-coated lens on the 7430 is a super crisp and bright lens.  So you can imagine the superb view that you get on the 7294 with the dielectric high-reflective multi-layer coating.

Another change in the new Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 binoculars is it’s newer body style.  The new body furnishes a stronger and more rugged binocular.

The warranty for both binoculars are the same great warranty that Nikon provides.  I like Nikon’s warranty because they definitely stand behind their products.  It covers damage to the binoculars (even if it’s your fault).  Let’s face it, when we are out in the elements anything can happen.

In conclusion, the Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 binoculars and the Nikon 7430 Monarch 8×42 All-Terrain binoculars are both great glasses.  If I were looking for a new pair of bird watching binoculars I would certainly look at the new Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 binoculars first.

UPDATE:  Nikon has changed the name of the Nikon Monarch ATB III to Nikon Monarch 5

Other posts related to this:

The Nikon 7294 Monarch III 8×42 Binoculars Review

Easy Steps To Choosing The Right Bird Watching Binoculars

Nikon 7430 Monarch 8x42mm  All-Terrain Binoculars

 

 

 

Mar 042010
 

Is your neck sore from the rubbing of your binoculars at the end of a great day of bird watching? Are you tired of your binoculars swinging freely around your neck narrowly missing trees and rocks? Are you afraid of damaging your binoculars? If you have answered “yes” to these questions, then consider a binocular harness system.

A good binocular harness system eliminates the annoyances that you have been dealing with when bird watching and hiking. The harness will hold the bird watching binoculars securely against your body eliminating any swinging or twisting. A good harness will protect your binoculars from any damage that may be caused from swinging into trees or other hard surfaces. And, no more missing those fast moving birds, because your binoculars are in a waiting position for you to grab and aim. This enables you to see many more birds while hiking and bird watching. Another important benefit of the harness is that your binoculars will be held in place while you are using your camera to photograph birds.

The binocular harness takes the weight of the binoculars off your neck. It distributes it evenly to your back and shoulders. Imagine hiking and birdwatching without the binoculars rubbing your neck all day. Your day will be a walk in the park.

The harness can be easily adjusted and used for people of any weight and height. The level of tightness of your binocular harness can be modified to suit your movement. You will move more comfortably, more freely and more quickly, which will make your day more enjoyable. By using a harness such as the Leupold quick release binocular harness 55895 you can easily disconnect the binoculars.

A binocular harness system will keep your binoculars safe and will keep you more comfortable. Choose the best binocular harness system available because your equipment is valuable and should be protected.

 

 

 

Nikon Binocular

 Bird Watching Binoculars  Comments Off on Nikon Binocular
Mar 032010
 

Whether you are watching birds at your bird feeder or hiking along a trail, use your Nikon binocular to see all the details.

Click here to see the  Nikon Binocular.