Follow Binoculars Blog:

Monthly Archives: March 2012

30 Mar

I keep a pretty good eye on our small woodland lake with both my binoculars and spotting scopes. Not much I miss in terms of birds and wildlife that use our lake, in other words. Now, being that our lake is small and surrounded by forest, what species of ducks do you think I see most often in the binoculars in the spring?

Mallard would certainly be a popular guess, since Mallards are regarded as “pond ducks”. Yep, we do have Mallards on our lake, but Mallards are not the species most often seen on our lake in the spring.…

Continue reading

29 Mar

Unless you’ve lived your entire life in a very different socio-economic class than I have, you did not start your birdwatching with premium birding binoculars. Like so many birders, I started watching birds, some forty plus years ago (the distant past) with what we would call budget binoculars. Not that I didn’t lust after Zeiss binoculars or Leitz binoculars (now Leica binoculars), but what port starving college student could afford them? Nope, it was Tasco binoculars for me and not even top of the line Tasco binoculars. As binoculars of that era went, my first birding binoculars were as ordinary …

Continue reading

28 Mar

Living as we do in the north woods, the “different habitat, different birds” principle is something we witness every day in the binoculars. The mix of bird species we see in our yard is quite different than the species I observed while living in other locations across the country.

Perhaps the most obvious birdwatching difference in our neighborhood is the total absence of typical backyard, urban and suburban birds, namely House Sparrows, Starlings and Rock Doves (pigeons). Whatever the reason – climate, geography or some missing ingredient in habitat – those are species never seen in the birding binoculars in …

Continue reading

27 Mar

Just what can you see in astronomy binoculars when it comes to objects in the night sky? Are astronomy binoculars a poor second to telescopes? Why invest a lot of money in astronomy binoculars when you can buy a telescope, sometimes for the same amount of money?

These are all good questions. The truth is that astronomy binoculars can be used to see most of the same things you see in a telescope eyepiece, but they really should be considered observing instruments in their own right rather than a substitute for telescopes. True, some objects are better viewed in the …

Continue reading

26 Mar

When it comes to birds and birdwatching, you never know what kind of bird behavior you will see when using the binoculars. There are exceptions to just about every general guideline on where or when to expect to see birds in the birding binoculars.

Juncos are a good example. Juncos are primarily ground feeding birds, though you will see them in the bushes, now and then. Either way, you rarely see Juncos far from the ground and, because there are other ground-feeding birds that keep company with Juncos, I always scan flocks of feeding Juncos on our lawn with my …

Continue reading

23 Mar

Being able to sit at your kitchen table or, weather permitting, sit out your deck with one of your birding binoculars and just watch birds for hours at a time has to be one of life’s great luxuries. Being able to do so when you are surrounded by north woods and have a view to a lake is all the more special.

I haven’t always lived in such a birdwatching paradise, though. Still, even when trapped in the big city, I’ve always spent a goodly amount of time watching birds through a kitchen or living room window in my home. …

Continue reading

22 Mar

Even though our birdfeeders are safely tucked away from the bears for now, our yard is still filled with migrating birds. In fact, my birdwatching has been better than ever, now that the spring bird migration is underway.

I’ve barely had a chance to put the birding binoculars down, the last few days, trying to keep any eye on flocks of Juncos and Tree Sparrows on the ground around the house with just enough Fox Sparrows and Song Sparrows to add a little variety. Meanwhile, up in the trees, flocks of Chickadees are working the maples and, back in the …

Continue reading

21 Mar

We birders use binoculars to view birds for a couple reasons.

First, of course, we use our birding binoculars to identify birds. That’s the obvious use that most people associate with birding binoculars and it certainly is important, especially for beginning bird watchers. Experienced birders, though, need binoculars much less often to identify birds. In fact, some birders only occasionally need their binoculars to identify birds. Nevertheless, all birders carry binoculars, since there are times when even an expert needs to a closer look to distinguish between similar species.

There is so much more to birdwatching and binoculars than identification, …

Continue reading

20 Mar

With our record setting warm spell, the spring bird migration in our area has been earlier than usual. In fact, in a single day, I had a handful of new arrivals that I either heard or spotted in the binoculars that I didn’t see until April, last year. The Song Sparrow, the Purple Finch, the Red-winged Blackbird and the Northern Flicker all appeared on our property on the same day and I’ve been out with the birding binoculars checking for new arrivals on a daily basis. These birds nest on our property and I am delighted to see them, of …

Continue reading

16 Mar

My winter bird-feeding season is over a bit early, thanks to the record setting warm weather of late. The feeders are down and stowed away, safely. My birdwatching continues, of course, but without the benefit of my bird feeders.

Now, I know what some of you other bird feeding experts are thinking – you can feed birds all year round and no reason to stop feeding birds when winter is over. I used to feed birds all year round, too, but that’s before I moved to the north woods.

Spring in our neighborhood means bears and by neighborhood, I mean …

Continue reading