The Stuff I Use

I thought it would be beneficial to share all of the tools, gear and products that I am currently using. I love talking to other birders to get new ideas and thought this could be valuable. Please comment at the bottom if there’s something I should check out.


*Any product, book or service that appears below is something I am currently using or have used extensively in the past. Some of the products below include affiliate links, which means that I would earn a small commission if you decide to purchase at no cost to you.*


Last Updated: February 2016



  • Nikon Monarch 7 (8×42)
    • Check out my full review.
    • This was a recent purchase and so far I love it! The field of view is amazing, especially compared to my old bins. The colors are especially bright and I am very happy with the image quality.


  • Canon EOS Rebel T3i
    • It looks like this camera has been discontinued by Canon. I purchased it a few years ago and have found it very easy to use and been happy with the pictures. I especially like how light it is to carry, my main purpose for taking pictures is to document the birds I find. This is something I would like to upgrade in the future.

Smart Phone:

When I first started birding (about 10 years ago), I deliberately left my phone behind. It was my chance to relax in nature without the distractions a phone can provide. How times have changed! Now, I can’t imagine birding without a smart phone.

  • iPhone 6s:
    • Amazing Birding Apps See below for complete list.
    • 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: 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! It’s sometimes hard to grab a photo of a bird on it, but I use it a lot to grab photo’s of flowers, tree’s, or reptiles to identify later.
      • Below is a recent panorama from the top of Mt. Princeton in Colorado.

Useful Random Things in My Back Pack:

  • External Battery for electronics – Anker Powercore 10000: Some sort of portable battery is a must! This has saved me many times, especially for my phone which seems to suck 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……


I absolutely love listening to Podcasts in my car! I can’t even remember the last time I bothered with the actual radio. Seriously, who wants to listen to 5 minutes of commercials??? My only complaint is that there are not more quality birding podcasts. Please recommend some! My preferred way of listening to podcasts is to download or stream the episode from my phone to the Bluetooth in my car.

This Birding Life – Hosted by Bill Thompson, III (Publisher and Editor of Bird Watchers Digest)

  • Bill has been a birder basically since he was born. His parents started the popular magazine Bird Watchers Digest (which I subscribe too!) and now Bill is the editor. The interviews cover many topics, including visits to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, influential birders and his recounts of birding trips around the world. I have never met Bill, but sounds like someone I would really enjoy getting a beer with.


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

  • A new podcast where the hosts discuss the latest in birding trends and news.


American Birding Podcast – Hosted by Nate Swick from the ABA.

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

  • If you enjoy a bit of humor in your podcasts, this is a nice change of pace from the other 3.

Favorite Bird Watching Apps



  • eBird: Click to read full review.
    • I use the app every time I am out birding as my checklist. It’s user friendly and easy to use. When you are done, just click a button and your checklist is already submitted to eBird. It has birding hot spots around your location marked, which is especially nice if I’m in a new area and looking for somewhere close I can get outside and see birds.
    • Download in iTunes.
    • Download in Google Play.




These are the magazines that I am currently subscribed:

Favorite Books:

  • I am working on a separate “Book Club” page. When completed, a link will be added.
  • Note: Before purchasing any new books, don’t forget about the library! I have saved so much money by checking books out here.

Field Guides:

This probably will upset many long time birders, but I don’t use field guides all that much.  By far, my preference is to use the iBird app on my phone for identification. I find it much easier to use and quicker to find the target bird. But, these are the field guides sitting on my shelf that I reference when needed!

Birds of Ohio Field Guide by Stan Tekiela: This will always be a sentimental choice, it was the first field guide and audio CD I ever received and got me into birding. Stan has an option for about every state, just do a quick search. It’s great for beginners and has about 100 of the most common species in the state of Ohio.
Birds of the West Indies by Herbert A. Raffaele: This was purchased and used before my honeymoon, which was a cruse to the Caribbean.

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