Recommended Bird Watching Equipment, Gear and Resources

Best Bird Watching Equipment One of the best parts of the birding community is the willingness to share!

 

Seriously, almost every bird watcher that I meet is nice. I have been helped by so many different people, from identification tips to birding gear recommendations.

 

I thought it would be beneficial to share and recommend MY FAVORITE bird watching equipment, resources, tools, birding gear and products that I am currently using or have found.

 

Think of this post as a giant checklist! Enjoy the recommendations. 

Table of Contents:

Bird Watching Equipment:

Bird Watching Resources

Bird Watching Gear and Tools


Please share your favorite birding resources or bird watching equipment in the comments section below!

Bird Watching Equipment

Below is a list of my favorite birding gear along with the product I am currently using.

I am very happy with this purchase! The field of view is amazing, especially compared to my old binoculars. The colors are especially bright and I am impressed with the image quality.

 

 

Related Articles:

Nikon Monarch 7 Review: 7 Reasons To Buy Today!: Read my full review!

The 8 Best Bird Watching Binoculars of 2017: Lists optics from All price ranges ($125 – $2,600). Includes a very helpful binocular comparison chart.

The 11 Best Spotting Scopes for Bird Watching: I don’t take my spotting scope on every trip, but they are a great birding tool and highly recommended for any serious birder.


Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i

  • It looks like this camera has been discontinued by Canon, but I have found it very easy to use and been happy with the pictures. This is something I would like to upgrade in the future.

Smart Phone: iPhone 6s

Almost everything I need for watching birds can be found on this little computer in my pocket. Seriously, it’s one of the most important bird watching tools and resources available.

Here’s why: 

    • Internet: If one of my apps can’t solve my problem, a quick click to the internet can save the day, including checking the weather!
    • Camera and Video: If my Canon isn’t available, I just use my cell phone. I can’t get over how amazing the camera’s have become in smart phones!
      • Below is a recent panorama from the top of Mt. Princeton in Colorado.


My Favorite Bird Watching Resources


Apps:

Amazing tools for birding! Here are my two favorites.

 

iBird PRO Guide to Birds:iBird Review App Read My Review

This is my favorite field guide and one of my most useful birding resources.

 

 

Larkwire Review: The Gamification of Bird Sounds:Best Birding Apps - Larkwire App Review  Read My Review

A fun way to learn bird sounds and calls. Only available on iTunes.

 

 

Related Article: 

The BEST Birding Apps To Improve Your Life List (2017)   Read Now 


Podcasts:

 

Best Bird Watching Gear and ResourcesI love listening to Podcasts in my car! It is my favorite way to stay current with the latest and greatest birding news.

 

Are you seriously still listening to the radio??? Trust me, once you find a few entertaining and educational podcasts it is hard to ever go back. They are one of my favorite bird watching resources.

 

Here are my 3 favorites:

 

Out There With the Birds – Hosted by Bill Thompson III and Ben Lizdas

Bill and Ben (both from Bird Watchers Digest) discuss the latest in birding trends and news and provide their expert opinions and thoughts.

 

Talkin’ Birds – Hosted by Ray Brown

Expect a half an hour show once per week. Each show is very well put together with different segments. This sounds more like a normal radio show (which it is in certain areas), but is packed full of information and entertainment.

 

Birdchick Podcast – Hosted by Sharon “Birdchick” Stiteler and her husband “Non-Birding” Bill.

Funny, unique and entertaining. What else do you want from a podcast? My recommendation is to listen to at least 3 episodes to get to know both of their personalities.


Books:

 

Reading books is one of my favorite ways to learn more about birds and birding.

 

There are too many to list on this page alone. Please check out:

The 19 Bird Watching Books to Read This YearRead Now 

 

But here are two of my favorites:

 

To See Every Bird On Earth by Dan Koeppel

Best Bird Watching BooksThis book holds a special place in my birding heart. It helped propel me into the bird watching fray.

I originally checked it out from the library as an audio book and subsequently listened to it 3 times through. It does a nice job of introducing some of the oddities of the birding subculture and also illustrates how bird watching can turn into an obsession at the expense of your family.

Purchase Now

 

The Big Year by Mark Obmascik

Best Bird Watching Books

 

This book was turned into a movie a few years ago. It’s a great way to get introduced to the crazy annual competition of who can see the most birds in a year. Trust me, it will get you thinking how you can accomplish your own big year.

Purchase Now

 

 


Websites:

The following websites are some of the best bird watching resources on Planet Earth.

 

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

They are a unique blend of citizen science, birding resources and education. It’s hard to describe “The Lab” in a few short sentences. Just trust me and check them out.

 

National Audubon Society

With local chapters all across the United States, Audubon is leading the charge to conserve and restore natural ecosystems by focusing on birds and wildlife. They provide almost daily articles ranging across all topics. From politics to the fine details of bird identification.

 

American Birding Association

The ABA provides leadership to birders by increasing their knowledge, skills, and enjoyment of birding. They are the only organization in North America that specifically caters to recreational birders and contribute to bird and bird habitat conservation through their varied programs.


Blogs:

There are only a few blogs that I consistently read. See below for a list of the best blogs from around the United States and World.

My Favorite Birding Blogs of 2017


Magazines:

These are the magazines that I am currently subscribed:


Field Guides:

 

Best Birding Gear and ResourcesHere is the truth:

 

 

I rarely use paper field guides!

 

Add it to the list of things that millennials are destroying! 🙂

 

As a casual and amateur birder, I rely on the electronic field guide apps downloaded on my phone. If that doesn’t work then I may consult one of my field guides at home, but probably will just use “Google”.

 

For a list of recommended Field Guide Apps, please read:

 

The BEST Birding Apps To Improve Your Life List (2017)   Read Now 


 Tips and Tricks

 

There’s too many to list here. Read one of my favorite articles:

 

Actionable Bird Watching Tips for Beginners (and a few for everyone)      Read Now 

 


Bird Watching Gear and Tools


My Back Pack:

Here is the birding equipment and other stuff that is currently in my bag.

  • External Battery for electronics – Anker Powercore 10000: Some sort of portable battery is a must! This has saved me many times, especially when my phone sucks up battery like a sponge.

  • MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths: For the longest time, every time my binocular or camera lens got dirty, I never had the correct microfiber cleaning cloth available. I finally solved that problem with a simple purchase. Now I keep a few in my back pack, in my car, in my drawer…
  • Waterproof Notebook / Pen : I have always carried a notebook. You never know when inspiration hits or you think of something that you want to remember. Having a durable, waterproof notebook has been a GREAT purchase.

  • Gum: I love coffee drinking coffee while out in the woods, but it can be annoying to bring along. This helps me forget about coffee. My favorite natural gum.

  • Water Bottle: I have tried other water bottles but always seem to come back to a Nalgene.
  • Pocket Knife

  • Headlamp: Just in case my birding trip takes longer than expected.
  • Bug Spray

Clothing, Shoes and Accessories

 

First, when I prepare for a full day of birding, I try to remember two things:

 

  1. It’s not fun being wet.
  2. It’s not fun being cold. (or incredibly hot!)

 

Bird Watching Gear and Resources

Then I try to bring clothing and other birding gear that satisfies these thoughts.

 

Second, I know some people love shopping, but I am not that person.

 

I am always drawn to the cheapest garment that I can get away with.

 

Unfortunately, I have learned an important lesson:

 

Cheap Price = Cheap Quality

 

For example, a cheap “waterproof” hiking boot may only be waterproof for 24 hours!

 

It’s definitely worth it to pay a little extra for quality shoes and clothing. It will not only last longer but won’t disappoint out in the field.

 

Here is a list of bird watching gear that’s a good checklist not only birders, but anyone that spends a lot of time outside.

 

  • Hiking Socks:
    • Make sure the material is not cotton!
    • I have lighter, thinner pairs for summer. Thicker, warmer pairs for winter.
  • Winter jacket: Make sure it’s one that lets you move!
  • Light jacket for brisk mornings.
  • Gloves: I have a few different pairs depending one temperature. I prefer gloves that can be used with my Smartphone.
  • Hats: Both for winter and summer
  • Sunglasses

What is your favorite birding equipment, gear or resources?

 

I would like to keep this list growing and need your help!

 

What is the stuff you won’t go bird watching without? Any cool gadgets or hacks that no one else seems to know about?

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