Need binoculars? Bingo!

Need binoculars? Bingo!

Michele Berger
Published: 12/23/2009

Photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid

Are you a birder in need of a new set of binocs (or are you looking for a last-minute gift for a birder you know)? Audubon’s own Wayne Mones walks you through every important binocular spec, from which magnification and diameter to buy, to how to adjust your pair to actually see that bird everyone else is ogling.

A few of his tips:

- A wide field of view makes it easier to find birds and to follow them when they fly.
- If you pay more than $200 for binoculars, make sure they’re waterproof and nitrogen purged, so they don’t get fogged up in humid conditions.
- Don’t clean your binocular lens with tissue, toilet paper, paper napkins, paper towels or newspaper—they will all scratch and eventually destroy the lens coating crucial to your binoculars’ optical performance.

For more recommendations from Mones, including what to do with old binoculars and which binoculars to pick if you wear glasses, check out this pullout from the November-December issue of Audubon.

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