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Wildlife

Baby Penguin: Everything You Need To Know

Remember that little penguin named Dindim who comes to see his human friend every summer in South America, swimming thousands of miles? What about Lala, the penguin in Japan who went shopping for fish? 

These are rare cases where an exotic creature formed a bond with humans. Raising these quirky semi-aquatic birds is an almost impossible task. 

So, when I had this sudden urge to adopt a baby penguin (like everybody else!), I went on to gather all the relevant information. And if you are in the same boat as me, here’s everything you need to know about baby penguins. They are such amazing creatures with so many interesting features about them. 

 

An Introduction to Baby Penguin

Fluffy baby penguins are called chicks or nestlings. Their size, shape, and appearance vary depending on the species. Emperor penguin babies, the largest species, are 4 inches and weigh 315 grams when they’re hatched. 

The smallest known species, the little penguin, weighs only 35 grams and is 3 inches tall when fully grown.

 

Types of Common Penguin Babies:

Penguin babies can be born with or without feathers. Most chicks take at least a year to grow their full plumage. Here are six commonly known species and how to identify them.

 

Emperor Penguin Chicks:

Baby emperor penguins are born without feathers and take a few weeks to grow the first layer which is light grey. The head feathers are black, and the color reaches their chins. Their face and throat remain white.

The second coat contains larger and thicker feathers and is light brownish on the chest. Juveniles have fewer black feathers on their head. Their eyes are diffused grey, and their neck is whitish brown.

 

King Penguin Babies:

King penguin babies are born naked and develop the first down coat in a few weeks. This layer is pale grey or brown. Their second coat is dark brown, and these chicks are fluffier than most other penguin babies. 

These juveniles’ crown feathers are greyish, and the back patch is pale yellow. They also get pretty pink markings under the lower half of their beaks.

 

Gentoo Penguin Babies

With a first down coat of grey or greyish brown, Gentoo babies have darker heads and white underparts. The second layer grows as dark greyish brown. Juveniles have low bright orange bills than adults do. 

 

Chinstrap Penguin Chicks

Chinstrap babies have an allover grey down coat with a lighter tone on the head. These beauties grow brownish-grey second coats with dull cream-white underparts. When they reach the juvenile phase, they develop little black streaks on the face, especially around the eyes. 

But their bills are smaller than those of adults. Also, the irises are a little less sparkly.

 

Adelie Penguin Babies:

Adelie penguin chicks get pale-grey first feathers with a darker head. And the second coat is dusty brown in color. The juvenile phase brings white color to the throat and chin. While the cheeks, ear covers, bills, and orbital rings are dark.

 

African Penguin Chicks 

African penguin babies have a dark brownish-grey color with paler throats and bellies. You can recognize them by the patches behind their eyes. The second coat grows blueish-grey. Underparts are brown with a short light stripe behind the eye.

African Penguins reach the juvenile phase with beautiful slate-colored upper coats. The head becomes paler on the sides. Their underparts turn white with black spots, and the bill takes a dark grey shade. African penguin babies’ legs vary from others. They would either be pale pinkish-grey or dark, dusky grey.

 

Macaroni Penguin Babies

Macaroni Penguin chicks have a similar second down, born with white plumage and the first coat of grey covering the head, chin, and throat. However, the dark areas turn greyish-brown.

In their juvenile stage, Macaroni Penguins have shorter crests and bills than adults. Sometimes they do not even have crests; the crown and the sides of the forecrown show yellow color. Their iris becomes dark brown, and the area covering the chin and throat appears dark grey.

 

Legal Matters You Need to Be Aware of

First of all, penguins are regarded as exotic birds in the US. So buying one is difficult by all means. 

There is a list of exotic animals in the US that’s strictly maintained. If I were to get an exotic pet, I would need to provide the right environment and follow through with the legal procedures.

 

Extinction Issues

Global warming has greatly affected penguin habitats. Humans cruelly hunting them for fat and food has also contributed to the drop in the penguin population. Ten out of 18 species of penguins discovered are currently endangered. 

Thus the World Conservation Union signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. 

So there are special laws to protect endangered animals now. This is why even if it’s legal, it is almost impossible to buy a penguin as a pet.

 

 

Terms And Conditions to Keep Penguins

 

  • Financial Stability

Penguins are incredibly high maintenance when raised in captivity. They require a lot of healthcare and attention. They are also difficult to control. A person must be financially prepared to provide a suitable environment and an on-site veterinarian. For zoo owners, the legal stages of buying penguins become less difficult.

The cost per bird is estimated to be between $1000 to $22000 depending on the species, age, sex, and also healthcare. But this is not enough; there is more to it. It will need a mate, so $2000 minimum plus the other expenses.

 

  • A Saltwater Swimming Pool

To align with their natural habitat, a large saltwater swimming pool is mandatory regardless of the number of birds. The pool size in international competitions is the minimum standard for penguins. 

So, if I were to get a penguin, I would need to afford the high-end cleaning system to maintain proper hygiene and hire staff for manual maintenance. Moreover, I’ll have to buy tiny slippers and other props for all their waddling and recreation.

 

  • Temperature Control

Unlike TV shows that show penguins only on the ice, actual penguins can survive in less cold areas too. They even travel to nearby regions and do not always require a freezing environment to stay alive and well. 

For penguins to thrive, a temperature of 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit is a must. Northern states have an advantage. However, a super strong cooling system will be needed to achieve this temperature in an enclosed pool in a southern state. The result is happy penguins but a huge electricity bill.   

 

  • Food And Hygiene

Penguins, on average, consume 4 to 11 lbs. of fish every day. The amount increases to 13 lbs. in the breeding season. So an average penguin will need 500 lbs of fish a year. To meet this demand, the pet owner needs to be a highly skilled fisherman or have the ability to buy this quantity.

Big appetite leads to huge defecation. Cleaning this mess is a hassle, but proper hygiene needs to be maintained. At times I think having penguins as pets is a massive feat.

 

  • Mate/Family for the Penguin

Penguins always stay in packs. Fun fact- a group of penguins in the water is called a raft, whereas it’s called a waddle if they are on land. Penguins huddle together during mating and breeding seasons, hunting time, or to protect themselves from predators. 

So, keeping only one penguin will make it very lonely. Adopting two or four together is a better idea. 

Also, I used even numbers because penguins are monogamous birds. If I raise two penguins, one needs to be male and the other female. Adopting them in pairs is encouraged so they can have a family and the owner can contribute to the multiplication. 

Penguins in a natural colony are happier and healthier. The least we could do is get them a small family. 

 

Can I Open A Penguin Petting Zoo?

Absolutely not!

Penguins are amongst the least sociable creatures when it comes to connecting with other species. So, I cannot imagine them being all friendly with kids who pet them and take selfies. 

In fact, if my penguins even decide to show up in front of people (chances are really low), they are more likely to chase them away by screaming in a group.

 

Adoption Or Sponsorship

Even if I am not a zoo owner or cannot afford the full cost, there is still a slight chance that I might come close to being a penguin parent. I can adopt or sponsor a penguin. All I need to do is prove that I can handle that bare minimum amount of $1000 for a penguin while it stays in a rescue center or a penguin sanctuary.

A wildlife preservation organization is responsible for getting people to help with the sponsorship and the legal documents. Some of them provide manuals, freebies, treats, and more frequent visits along with the adoption certificate. Even naming the penguin is sometimes approved.

 

Penguin Eggs-Appearance And Incubation

Penguins generally lay two eggs. The only exceptions are the emperor penguins and the king penguins. Most species lay white or grey eggs; some have a green or blue tint. Penguins use the ground as their nest. 

But king and emperor penguins use their feet to keep the eggs. Emperor penguin eggs are 10 – 13cm (4-5 inches) big and weigh 315 to 415 grams (11 and 15 ounces). Smaller birds like Adelie penguins lay eggs that are 5 and 8cm (2-3 inches) long and weigh between 56 and 140 grams (2-5 ounces).

Emperor penguin females lay their eggs, and the males incubate them. They stand upright and balance the eggs on top of their feet the whole time. The loose layer of featherless skin, called the brood patch, keeps the egg warm. This process takes 62 to 66 days. 

All the other penguin species take 30 to 66 days for the incubation period, sharing the responsibilities between both males and females. The duration also depends on the climate and the habitat. 

After this long period of incubation, the first crack appears. Orphaned penguin eggs hatched in shelters are put in incubators until they hatch.

 

Taking Care of Hatchlings

When it’s time to hatch, penguin chicks peep out of their eggs. On average, it takes them two to three days to chip out of their eggshells. Some of the species are born with feathers, some naked but grow the first down within a few weeks. 

This layer of feathers is not water resistant, and so newly hatched babies should never be allowed in the water. Depending on the species, it takes 7 to 13 months to grow waterproof feathers. When the baby birds reach the juvenile stage, they can make their own way into the water. Adult plumage grows within a year.

 

What Food Should I Feed My Penguins?

Penguins primarily eat fish, Krill, and squids. And Krill is a crustacean in the family Euphausiidae. It looks a lot like shrimp. Even though weather and quantity vary in every region with every season, every penguin species has a preference for food. It helps balance the food chain. 

In both the southern polar regions, smaller penguins survive on Krill and squids. Adélie penguins like small Krill, but chinstraps go for large Krill. Northern penguins, on the other hand, prefer fish. Emperor and king penguins like to have squids and fishes. 

Therefore, the species’ natural choices in food should be kept in mind while raising and feeding penguin babies.

Usually, penguins feed their own cheeks. The parents hunt, swallow and/or digest the food, and regurgitate them into their mouths. Then they use their beaks like a spoon and feed their little ones. 

Penguins have special kind of enzymes that keeps the food inside them without rotting. Sometimes, the food is completely digested and turned into oil. It’s called penguin ‘milk.’ But Hatchlings born and raised in captivity are most of the time orphaned. 

So they are dependent on human caregivers for nutrition. The penguin shelters all have expert caregivers to feed and groom penguin babies.

 

Bottom Line

The adoption and breeding of penguins in captivity should not be encouraged. But, the people who share the love for penguins can always attempt this through possible legal means. 

Proper research and maintaining rules and regulations can help save orphaned and/or injured birds. In this article, I talked about pretty much everything you need to know about baby penguins. 

Of course, these are still just the basic stuff. A person needs to educate themselves in every way possible before adopting an exotic bird such as a penguin.

Read Also: https://birdmoy.com/baby-pigeon/

Categories
Wildlife

Baby Pigeon: Everything You Need To Know

Baby pigeons are a rare sight to behold. Very few people might have seen pigeons at their early stage. Due to their rare sightings, pigeons also have some conspiracies about them, like they are surveillance drones operated by the government. 

Today, the discussion will be on baby pigeon and everything you need to know about them so that you can learn all about their attributes. They are definitely not myths (or surveillance drones!). Baby pigeons are extremely cute, but there is much more to them. 

 

Newborn Baby Pigeon

A baby pigeon is also called a squab. Baby pigeons are born premature, so they need care and nourishment. Otherwise, they cannot survive for long. 

When they are born, the baby pigeons keep their eyes closed. They lie down in a horizontal position and keep their bills closed. It takes a few days before the baby pigeons can open their eyes, get up, or open their bills.

Baby pigeons take at least forty days to grow into a fledgling or a juvenile.

Baby Pigeon Appearance

A baby pigeon that hatched out of its egg has a pinkish hue on its dark skin. These baby birds have patches of fine yellow hair on their body which later turns into feathers.

You will find a pink to darker pink color beak on baby pigeons. When they are small, these birds have grey feet as opposed to burnt-orange feet when they are older. Baby pigeons come into this world with their eyes closed which they open around day five or six.

They have larger-sized beaks, feet, and wings compared to their body. However, as they get older, their body grows into these attributes.

 

Juvenile Pigeon Appearance

Juvenile pigeon or fledgling pigeon is one of the stages of baby pigeons. Pigeons take a long time to learn how to fly, so by the time they come out of their nest, the juvenile pigeons grow plumage similar to the adult bird. So, it can be difficult for people to differentiate between adult and young pigeons.

The juvenile or fledgling stage can be indicated by a greyish pink line on their neck, whereas the adult pigeon has a white line. This line around their neck is known as cere.

There is also the absence of glistening green and purple color on the plumage of the juvenile pigeons.

You will also find that young and adult pigeons have different eye colors. Juvenile pigeons have dark brown or grey eyes, but adult pigeons have red, orange, or sometimes yellow eyes.

 

Baby Pigeon Size

A baby pigeon that has just arrived into the world is typically about five to seven centimeters long. They weigh around fifteen to twenty grams and never more than that. 

But each day, their weight increases between five to ten grams. As a result, their weight reaches up to 300 to 370 grams in a month.

How Long It Takes for A Baby Pigeon to be Born

Pigeons generally lay a couple of eggs at a time. But in rare occurrences, pigeons can lay three eggs at a time. But never more than three eggs. 

Baby pigeons come out of a white egg laid by their mother. Both father and mother pigeons incubate the eggs. The father incubates from morning to evening and the mother from evening to morning.

Typically, it takes fifteen to twenty hours for the eggs to hatch. The egg can start to hatch at any time, and it takes a full day to complete its hatching. Pigeon breeds and lays eggs all the time, but it happens mainly during the summer and spring seasons. So, most of the hatchings occur during that time.

Both eggs of the pigeon start and end their hatchings at the same time. After the hatching, the parent pigeons throw away all the eggshells from their nest.

 

Baby Pigeon Food

Baby pigeons are born underdeveloped, so they need extra care and nourishment for survival.

They will not live for very long if they do not have good food with proper nutrition. So, both mama and papa pigeon contribute and take a turn in feeding their child.

The fledgling mainly eats crop milk that has been regurgitated until day four. From day five, baby pigeons eat various types of seeds along with their crop milk. On day nine, the parent pigeons add different fruits and insects to their little one’s diet.

The baby pigeons need more food day by day. After the parents add seeds to their diet, the child starts to want more food. 

In the beginning, it is quite tiresome for both parents to feed their babies. However, it becomes quite easy for them to feed a couple of baby pigeons as time passes.

If you raise a baby pigeon by yourself, you can buy bird pellets as they contain all the nutrition such a special bird needs.

 

How Parent Pigeons Feed Baby Pigeons

Both father and mother pigeons take part in feeding their babies. They go out every morning to look for seeds, fruits, or insects. Baby pigeons need to be fed four to five times a time.

After the baby pigeons grow and reach their youngster stage, they can open their beaks to make sounds and lift their heads. So, they squeak relentlessly at their parent to give them food when they get hungry. After a week, the feeding time decreases from four to two times a day.

 

When Does Baby Pigeon Take Flight

Baby pigeons take five to seven weeks to learn how to fly. From week three to four, the babies flail their wings and try to fly. 

During the early stage, they jump from low heights. But as time passes, they increase their jump height and become more advanced. The parents help their babies to fly by nudging the babies around the nest.

 

Time Spent in Nest by Baby Pigeon

The time a baby pigeon spends on its nest depends on the season and the weather. If it is during spring or summer and the weather is warm, a baby pigeon will spend 30 to 35 days in the nest. 

However, a baby pigeon will be in the nest for 44 to 50 days if it is the rainy season or winter and the weather is cold.

After the wings of pigeons are fully formed, and they start to fly, they lose a little bit of their weight. After that, the pigeons go and explore for their food. Sometimes, the pigeons fly and forget their way back to their nest. So, they might need to build a nest for themselves.

 

Pigeon Habitat Site

Pigeons’ nesting locations differ from other birds. We can see the nests of local birds around us. But pigeons follow a different path. 

Pigeons build their nest at the peak of tall trees, on the roof of skyscrapers, and on the edges of towering cliffs. They also build their nests in abandoned buildings, churches, and under bridges.

This peculiarity of their nesting habit is due to their need to save their babies. Baby pigeons are born premature and quite weak during their early life stages. These make them an easy target for hunting birds or animals. So, the parent pigeons take all these extra measures to keep their babies safe.

Pigeons also reuse their old nest. They build the new nest above the previous one by changing its site if needed. The reason behind reusing old nests is their heavy weight. Pigeons do not clean up the excretion from their nest. As a result, the nest becomes heavy and can weigh up to 3kg, which is very difficult for a pigeon to carry.

 

How Can You Feed A Baby Pigeon

If you have a baby pigeon, you need to be very careful regarding its food and environment because they are quite sensitive.

You need to keep your baby pigeon in a warm place with 40 watts to 45 watts of power because baby pigeons cannot digest food if they are in a cold environment.

If you cannot arrange for 40 watts to 45 watts of power, you can use heating pads or hot water and wrap them with a cloth for the baby’s comfort.

Use a syringe or mini spatula to feed the baby pigeon. Make sure their size matches the size of the baby pigeon’s mouth. You can find feeding bottles with long thin straws in the market. Use them to feed your baby pigeon anything liquid. 

If you or the baby spills anything, clean them immediately with a soft cloth. Be sure not to overfeed the baby, as it can result in death.

 

How to Care for A Malnourished Baby Pigeon

Unless you have complete knowledge about feeding and caring for a baby pigeon, you should hand them over to a professional. This is because they have the best knowledge of caring for a baby pigeon. But if you really want to take care of a baby pigeon, you need to know a few things.


  • Crop Milk

Since you do not have a parent pigeon, you cannot get your hands on crop milk. So, you need to buy pigeon formula for your baby pigeon. A couple of popular bay pigeon formulas are Nutribird A21 and Kaytee Extract. 

So, you could go for either of these two. If you cannot find any of these two near you, look for non-dairy substitutes like milk or macadamia nuts.

On the first and second days, mix the formula and lukewarm water to get the consistency of skimmed milk. After two days have passed, mix the formula and water to get the consistency of jam or ketchup. If you can find it, add digestive enzymes to their milk.

 

  • Fruits, Seeds, And Pellets

After two weeks have passed, arrange for fruits, seeds, and bird pellets for your baby pigeon. If you need food in an emergency, try cereal without dairy products. Try soaking dog biscuits and giving them to your baby pigeons as an alternative. But these two should not become a regular diet.

You need to keep the baby pigeon in a warm area because cold weather is not suitable for them, and without proper care, this weather can be the cause of their death.

 

Why You Do Not See Baby Pigeons

The reason why you do not see baby pigeons usually is that they build their nests on sky-high trees. A baby pigeon is quite weak, so its parents want to keep it safe from other birds, animals, or even humans. So, they choose to build their nests on tall trees or skyscrapers. 

Pigeons also build their nests in abandoned places like chimneys, old buildings, and churches, under old and broken bridges, to keep themselves and their child away from prying eyes.

This nesting habit of pigeons comes from their ancestor, the rock dove. The rock doves used to build their nests on cliffs or tall trees, which has now become a habit of the pigeons we can see.

Another reason baby pigeons are so rare to be seen is that they grow up quite fast but take a long time to fly. So, when a pigeon flies out of its nest, it looks almost like a fully grown pigeon.

 

Final Words

That’s all about the baby pigeon you need to know. If you ever decide to keep a baby pigeon as a pet, remember that they are very delicate and need extra care for their proper growth and stability. 

Pigeons’ habitat practice differs from other local birds, making the baby pigeon a rare sight. And finally, look around your surroundings, see if you can find a pigeon nest with baby pigeons, and appease your curiosity.

Read Also: Baby penguin

Categories
Wildlife

What Do Sparrows Eat – The Sparrow Diet Explained

When I started research on the diet of sparrows, I didn’t know what to expect honestly. But after a week of going through books and articles, I have a good idea now.

Now, what do sparrows eat? Their most common food is seed, but they have a diverse diet that ranges from insects to fruits.

I’ve tried to compile everything about their food preferences in an organized manner to make the topic easier to digest.

Diet of Sparrows

Sparrows are omnivore birds meaning their diet is both plant and animal-based. However, the majority of their diet consists of different types of seeds, grains, and fruits. So, they are also classified as the granivore bird. Here’s a list of the most common foods for sparrows:

  • Seeds

Seeds are one of the major components of sparrows’ diet as they are easy to find. Sparrows look for dispersed seeds on the field to eat. Sunflower seeds, canary seeds, milo, safflower seeds, corn seeds, Nyjer seeds, millet seeds, and flax seeds are some of the most common seeds that sparrows eat.

Since seeds are full of nutrition and energy, they can live almost their whole lives by only eating these.

  • Grains

Grains are the main food for sparrows. Sparrows eat almost all kinds of grains which include rice, wheat, barley, red and white millet, proso milo, oats, soybean, corn, and many more. Grains are easy to find and abundant. So, they do not have to go through that much hardship to look for their food.

  • Insects

Sparrows eat many types of small insects, but they mainly find them to feed these insects to their offspring as well. Aphid, ant, worm, caterpillar, bee, cricket, beetle, housefly, small butterfly, mantis, hermetia, etc. However, when babies of sparrows grow up, their diet then mostly consists of seeds and grains.

  • Human Food

If they are offered to or can find, they also eat bits and pieces of human foods such as soaked bread crumbs, cookies, stale cheese, cooked pasta, boiled eggs and their shells, cooked rice, and many more. Younger sparrows can eat any type of stale human food, but in the case of older sparrows, it is better not to serve them anything stale as it might cause them stomach problems.

  • Plants

Even though sparrows mostly eat seeds and grains, from time to time, they also include plants in their diet. But they mainly eat plants when they cannot find enough grains and seeds to fulfill their hunger. They might feed on leaves, grass, buckwheat, crabgrass, ragweed, and flowers and their buds.

  • Fruits

Fruits are the main food of sparrows when they migrate. Apple, plums, bananas, peaches, mango, papaya, cantaloupe, loquats, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and nectarines are some of the most common fruits that sparrows eat.

They also eat dried fruits like dates, almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, pistachio, hazelnut, apricot, walnut, raisins, and figs.

Berries are also on the list of fruits that sparrows eat such as blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, elderberry, baneberry, salmonberry, chokeberry, buffalo berry, bearberry, and many more.

  • Vegetables

Every now and then, sparrows include different types of vegetables in their diet. Some of the vegetables that sparrows eat are spinach, bell pepper, potato, sweet potato, beet, romaine lettuce, Bok choy, kale, squash, beet, green papaya, and many more.

Almost all of these vegetables carry vitamin A which is very much essential for a sparrow’s diet.

 

 

Different Diet For Different Sparrows

Like every other living creature, the diet of sparrows also differs from type to type. There are many different types of sparrows such as:

  • House sparrow
  • True sparrow
  • Rock sparrow
  • Eurasian tree sparrow
  • Fox sparrow
  • Song sparrow
  • Lark sparrow
  • Golden sparrow
  • Vesper sparrow
  • Henslow’s sparrow
  • Great sparrow

 

These different types of sparrows eat different types of food but there are some common elements as well.

  • House Sparrow

House sparrows can be found in suburban, urban, and agricultural areas. They mainly eat seeds, grains, insects, scraps of human foods, and food for livestock.

  • Eurasian Sparrow

These sparrows live in Eurasia, cultivating land, suburban areas, and the countryside. Eurasian sparrows mainly live on insects, grass, grain, seed, and weeds.

  • Song Sparrow

Song sparrows consume seeds and mainly insects such as ants, beetles, grasshoppers, wasps, and caterpillars as part of their diet. They also prefer different foods in different seasons.

During the summer and spring, they generally eat different types of insects. However, in winter, their diet becomes plant-based which mainly consist of grass and weed.

  • Henslow’s Sparrow

Henslow’s sparrows mainly live on different types of insects including moths, cricket, fly, ant, beetles, and grasshoppers. The baby Henslows’ are fed insect larvae and the soft gut of bigger insects.

  • Great Sparrow

Great sparrows live in the Southern regions of Africa. These sparrows’ diets mainly consist of three things: seeds, grains, and insects. For seeds, they eat sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and safflower seeds.

In the case of insects, they prefer mealworms, grasshoppers, and beetle. Lastly, rye, wheat, quinoa, corn, barley, and oats are some of the grains that the great sparrows eat.

  • Italian Sparrow

Italian sparrows can mainly be found in European countries such as Italy, Greece, Switzerland, France, and Austria. They build their nests in urban, forest, rural, and rocky areas.

Italian sparrows eat different types of seeds, insects, gravel, and shell of seeds and eggs. They also eat various kinds of arthropods, such as crustaceans, spiders, centipedes, scorpions, and butterflies.

  • American Tree Sparrow

American tree sparrows have different seasons. In spring and summer, they feast on insects and seeds. However, in winter, when there is no insect or seed can be found, they depend on different types of fruits for their sustenance.

 

Different Food in Different Seasons

Sparrows eat different types of food in different seasons. This is mainly due to the unavailability of certain foods in a certain season. So, to save themselves from death, sparrows eat what is available to them at that time.

 

Summer and Spring

In summer and spring, insects, seeds, and grains are abundant. So, sparrows can eat these foods all they want. In the case of insects, they like to feast on the fly, caterpillar, beetle, ant, grasshopper, mantis, aphid, and bee.

For seeds; sunflower seed, black seed, safflower seed, milo, and canary seeds. And as for grains, some of their favorites are; buckwheat, rice, corn, barley, soybean, oats, corn, and many others.

Sparrows also eat different types of arthropods in summer and spring such as centipedes, spiders, weevils, crustaceans, mollusk, scorpions, and butterflies. If they can find it, sparrows also eat smaller vertebrates like baby frogs and snakes, snails, and lizards.

 

Winter

During winter, sparrows mainly live on seeds, grains, and fruits. Since there is a scarcity of insects in winter, they have to go on with their days without eating any insects.

Sparrows also look for human foods in residential areas. Some people leave food in the bird feeder as well. For their fruit, sparrows mainly eat different types of berries such as blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, and elderberry.

There are some migrating sparrows that fly to African regions where the coldness is very tender or non-existent in winter. So, the sparrows can eat whatever they usually eat in summer and spring.

If their food supply is short, the priority is given to the more dominant sparrow. To create this dominance, each of the sparrows shows their throat patch to their opponent.

 

Sparrow Feeders

There are different types of sparrow feeders. If you have a sparrow and if you want to get a feeder, or maybe you do not have a sparrow but still want to set up a feeder for the sparrows that live in nature, you should find the one that is most convenient for you and the sparrow.

You can find different types of sparrow feeders in the market. Or if you want to you can make one all by yourself.

Here’s a list of different types of sparrow feeder and their benefits.

 

Caged Tube Feeder

Sparrow prefers to consume their grains and seeds from tube feeders. However, normal tube feeder rest at a low height, which becomes inconvenient for the sparrows. If you get a caged tube feeder, you can set it at the best height for the sparrows.

 

Window Feeder

Window feeders are the best feeders for bird watchers. You need to just set it up with your window and fill it up with different types of foods such as grains, seeds, fruits, and food crumbs. Then you will find sparrows flocking around your window all day long.

 

Dome Feeder

Dome feeders are usually set up in the backyard or the front yard of the house. You can add various types of foods for sparrows to the dome feature. And the best thing is, the dome will protect the sparrow foods from rain.

 

Hopper Feeder

Hopper feeders have a roof that protects the food from bad weather. They also have a wide ledge which increases the surface area for the foods to disperse. Hopper feeders also save food from rats and squirrels. You can only add different types of grain and seed to this bird feeder and not any insect or fruit.

 

Foraging and Hunting of Sparrows

Sparrows forage for foods from bird feeders, fields, grounds, and industrial grains. They always find out which options are easy for them to get their food and go forward with that route. Sparrows do not have the tendency to be picky eaters. Sparrows always eat whatever they can find.

Sometimes sparrows rummage the fields and grounds to find seeds, insects, and grains to eat. However, sometimes the sparrows follow other birds for food or join them in their feast.

Sparrows also hunt insects from the air but they do not give much effort when hunting for insects. They save this energy to forage for seeds and grains.

 

Foods of Baby Sparrows

Baby sparrows’ diets mostly consist of insects that their parents provide for them. They live on these insects for up to three weeks. After three weeks, parent sparrows give baby sparrows solid foods like grain, seed, and such. As six to seven weeks pass, baby sparrows leave the nest and start to look for their food by themselves.

 

How to Care for a Baby Sparrow?

If you are caring for a baby sparrow you should be very careful with it as they do not have their parent for proper care. The best food for that bay sparrow would be soaked dog or cat food, both alive and dried small insects, and boiled eggs. Remember, under no circumstances should you feed them earthworms.

You should feed the baby sparrow every two to three hours. Keep it out of any potential harm and build a warm shelter for the baby sparrow. Do not feed the baby sparrow raw water.

Add a bit of water to their food but do not give it to the sparrow directly. try to find bugs around you or buy them from a shop. You can also get high-quality food in a shop to feed your baby sparrow. Always clean the bird and its surroundings after feeding it.

As they grow up, add sunflower seed, rasp seed, safflower seed, canary seed, flax seed, sorghum, Nyjer, milo, thistle, millet, and peanut to the sparrow’s diet.

If you can, give them soft fruits and vegetables such as squash, banana, mango, cantaloupe, various types of berries, potato, beet, grape, and cherries. You can also add household food items to their diets, such as bread, crackers, cheese, and cookies.

 

That’s All Folks

This is all about the foods of sparrows. If you want to attract them around you, set up a bird feeder near your home, and add different types of grains and seeds.

You can always find out more about their behavior by following them and keeping notes. There are also books on the diet and habits of sparrows if you want to learn more.

 

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Birding

What Do Crows Eat?

Crows are the most common bird we might see around us. I see them every day in my garden trees. Yes, their loud and harsh voice can be annoying, but it is also not unknown to us that crows are intelligent animals as well.

Now, I always wondered, what do crows eat? Do they have a special type of diet? No, crows don’t have a special diet and eat almost any available food.

I tried to find out about their food habits, and below I will share my findings with you.

 

What Do We Know About Crows

Crows are part of the genus Corvus in the animal kingdom. The genus Corvus includes not only crowsbut also rooks and ravens.And this genus is home to over 45 distinct species. On average, crows can live up to 20 to 30 years.

All crow species are omnivores that will eat just about everything they can get their beaks on. These birds can devour up to 40,000 grubs in a single day, which at first glance may appear impossible. To stay alive, they have to eat 11 ounces per day.

Crows are known for their loner tendencies, even though they frequently search for food in groups. They assemble in huge numbers during the breeding season so that they may roost together and defend themselves from predators.

 

What Do Crows Eat

Crows are omnivores like us. Nothing is out of their diet, from plants to animals and even processed foods. Crows, with their big, broad beak, will eat almost anything.

They are very opportunistic eaters, so they can feast on almost everything. Although all of the species are nearly omnivores, some species are more herbivores, and some follow a more carnivorous diet.

It is very tough to list an animal’s diet when they are omnivores.

 

Foods That Crows Commonly Eat

Because you will be confused about what to include and what not to, I will try to give you a glimpse of what the birds’ diet looks like.

Seeds, Nuts, And Grains

Crows go absolutely bananas about nuts. Any kind of nuts, be it peanuts, almonds, or walnuts, the crows do surely love these a lot. Crows are so fond of nuts that if you give them nuts daily, they might give you gifts for that.

They also have a thing for grains and seeds. These birds will eat any kind of seeds you put in front of them, including rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn. For grains, whether it is wheat, milo, or millet, crows will eat them.

Crows, who have a voracious appetite, will undoubtedly consume corn if found within their territory causecorn offers birds an excellent nutritional profile.

 

Fruits And Berries

Fruits and berriesare usually found in a crow’s diet, as they make up almost 75% of a crow’s daily food habit. Why is that? The year-round availability of fruits and berries is the primary reason why they are so widely consumed. Whenever they see fruit, they may quickly plummet and grab it.

Berries picked from the wild are simple to gather, but there are many more kinds of fruits to be found in their natural habitat as well.From grapes to apples, oranges, cherries, blueberries, nightshade berries, melons, etc., everything will be on their menu.

When fruit is thrown out, it often ends up in dumps. This is a great spot, with easy access to abundant resources. The crow population has figured out that they may get a steady supply of food by scavenging in trash cans for rotting fruit and other edibles.

 

Insects

For the all-around eaters, insects cannot be out of their menu. Crows supplement their diet with a variety of insects, starting from ants, worms, and other grubs like caterpillars.

As they can eat insects from the ground, so they do not have to deal with the stress of competing with other predators.Crows are highly appreciated in certain areas because of their capacity to reduce the number of damaging bug populations, which is beneficial to farmers.

 

Lizards and Amphibians

Crows consume both amphibians and reptiles as part of their diet. They are known to consume a wide variety of prey, including frogs, small snakes, turtles, salamanders, and anything else they can grab and devour.

Crows love to eat small reptiles like geckos and lizards, as well as other types of small reptiles. They eat not only the adult prey but also the eggs and the hatchlings.

 

Carrion

You may look another way when you see carrion but not the crows. It is a buffet for them. What is carrion? It is a decaying body of a dead animal. Crows love to feast on this.

Like other carrion birds, crows consume dead animals, particularly those that have been killed by vehicles. Recently, I saw a murder of crows feasting on a dead rat on the street. Crows eat carrion from garbage and streets.

It is great that they consume the dead animals, but it is awful because they leave behind piles of decaying flesh everywhere they go.

 

Birds And Bird Eggs

Crows are notorious for preying on and killing other birds, especially young ones. They are even known for swarming other birds, sometimes even baby birds. While shocking to human sensibilities, this is really rather typical among birds and other species.

It is common knowledge that crows and other species from the genus Corvus consume baby birds. They eat them as nestlings or fledglings. Crows will consume infant birds and eggs if they find a nest that has been abandoned.

Bird eggs are protein-rich food. That is why you could find crows trying to break into other birds’ nests and steal their eggs.

Crows will occasionally snack on the young of other species of birds, but they probably will not go out of their way to do so. They will almost never go hungry.And even when they do, there are almost always simpler foods available.

 

Rodents

When I am talking about rodents here, it doesn’t include the large ones like Capybara. Crows are relatively small in size, so they cannot prey on large rodents. What they mainly do is that they feed on the carcasses of these rodents.

Crows include squirrels in their meal, but they don’t hunt them. Instead, they feed on carrion that has been ripped apart by other animals, vehicles, or some other method. Why? Even though they are magnificent, crow bills are not strong enough to rend the skin of a squirrel.

 

Fish

The list is going long, I know. Crows didn’t leave fish to include in their meal. They will get into water up to their bellies in order to capture fish. Crowsalso eat dead fishes, crabs, and shellfish.

These birds do an interesting thing while eating fish. If they find shellfish or crabs, they will throw them from a height to break the shells and then eat the meat.

 

What Do Baby Crows Eat

It is known to all that babies cannot eat like adults. They can’t digest solid foods after birth. The same thing goes for baby crows. During the first two to three weeks of their lives, young crows can only consume very soft foods.

It is a frequent habit among omnivorous birds for parents to vomit food directly into the mouths of their young. When the babies are one- or two weeks older,parents give the babies partially digested foods.

The food that parents provide is highly rich in protein. It basically consists of animal remains and is essential for rapidly developing nestlings.When they start growing, parents will give them bigger pieces of animal matter and insects. Nestlings leave their nests after four weeks of their birth.

 

Do Crows Gather Food Together

Crows are fearsome hunters in nature, but they don’t hunt often. Most of the time, they collect food by other methods.They may hunt together or alone. Even though they can work alone, they are adaptable to working in small or large flocks.

They are capable of working together in remarkably complicated ways when the situation calls for it. If someone is attacked, they will hunt down the attacker in a group. They even work together to distract other animals and take their food.

 

Do Crows Eat Squirrels, Mice, Or Rabbits

Yes, they highly do. But they don’t hunt them often. Even though they are competent hunters, crows are not particularly well-suited for pursuing prey that moves quickly. So, it is impossible for them to chase a squirrel, mice, or rabbits.

They prey on these targets when the opportunity arrives. If they find any injured, sick, or dead rodents, they will not wait to include them in their menu. Also, there are times when crows would form huge flocks to hunt down some rodents.

 

Do Crows Eat Other Birds

Indeed, crows are known to prey on different species of birds. When given a chance, they will break into the nests of other birds and steal the eggs, young, or fledglings. Additionally, they will eat any little wounded or dead bird they come across.

 

What Do Crows Drink

Sweating is one of the primary ways that animals shed water, yet birds lack the necessary glands to do so. That is why crows don’t drink that much water. Crows get the majority portion of water from their foods.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t drink water or enjoy it. Every morning when I go for a walk, I see crows drinking from the birdbaths. I even saw crows drinking from the bird feeders.

 

What Are Crows’ Favorite Food

Crows are not picky eaters in the first place. But it doesn’t mean they can’t have favorite foods on their menu. I have tried to mention here and there what crows especially like.

Like us, crows have a soft corner for boiled eggs. So, if you are planning on feeding crows, then try to feed them eggs. Don’t forget to add the nuts, as I said before.

Another thing is that crows also love pet foods. Pretty much surprising, right? Butyeah, they are fond of cat or dog foods. Let’s finish it with their final love: the chicken and fish scraps. Just scatter them somewhere, and you will see how much they love these.

 

Can I Feed Crows

The answer is yes. It is not prohibited to feed the crows. But make sure you are not creating any hassle for your neighbors. I would suggest you find a quiet placewhere the crows often gather and feed them there. Before you feed them,make sure the food is not harmful to them.

Always maintain a routine while feeding them. Have a birdbath near you so that they can drink from there.

 

What I need to Avoid While Feeding Crows

Feeding crows or any kind of birds is a very good thing. But if you mess up, it will not only drive them away but also deal great damage to the birds. Before you start feeding the crows, maintain these steps.

Remove the seeds from apples, peaches, and pears because the seeds have cyanide in them. So, if you feed them fruits with seeds, you will eventually poison them.Don’t feed the crows any processed foods or bread. Salty and sugary foods are also bad for birds like crows.

 

How Do Crows Digest Foods

Crows, like other birds, lack teeth. It doesn’t matter to them. They are equipped with a specially adapted digestive system that allows them to absorb more nutrients from their food.

First, the crow will use its powerful beak to smash the food into smaller pieces. If the food is not large, then they will devour it directly, and it will go down their hatchet. There is a part called crop in the crow’s body. After reaching the back of the throat, foods are stored here.

From there, it will move to the proventriculus, the stomach’s first section. Then the acid in the stomach is going to start dissolving the food here. After that, the gizzard, the stomach’s other portion, will then ground the food into tiny bits for the intestines to process.

 

Conclusion

Finally, you know the answer to what do crows eat. Crows can eat everything except the seeds of a few fruits. So, if you want to start feeding the crows nesting near your house, you now know everything there is to know

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Birding

10 Best Binoculars under $100

When you want to have a clear and zoomed view of the things that are not within the reach of your eyesight, get a pair of binoculars. However, buying binoculars with good features and quality doesn’t necessarily have to break your bank.

Keeping this in mind, we’ve researched for days looking for budget binoculars that meet our standards. Finally, we handpicked ten of the best binoculars under $100 that are currently available in the market.

Each of the items below was chosen carefully and none lacks when it comes to any of the major specifications. So, no matter what you pick, it will serve you well.

10 Best Binoculars under $100

Have a look at our reviews and find great value from any one of these sustainable, and affordable binoculars.

 

 

1. Vortex Optics Porro Prism 8.5×32

Kicking off our first below $100 binocular review with Vortex Optics Porro Prism. The brand Vortex has taken the Porro prism performance to a whole new level with wide-angle designed optics. On top of that, their high-quality fully multi-coated optics within the mid-level price range has attracted many enthusiasts.

The Raptor 8.5X32 features the traditional Porro prism assembly with an immersive three-dimensional observation experience. Porro prism construction requires fewer light reflections to get you an upright image.

So, when you’re using it during the daytime, the clarity and brightness become extraordinary. Besides, its improved depth of field can challenge similarly sized roof prism designs as well.

This Vortex Optics Porro Prism comes with a wide-angle design giving you 390 feet field of view. Perfect for viewing stadium sports action, this binocular’s wide adjustment range can also be comfortably adapted to your needs.

In other words, it has a wide IPD or Interpupillary Distance range of 50 to 70 mm. this means even children with very narrow IPD who often have difficulty with full-sized binoculars can view perfectly with this one.

The binocular has a sealed housing which makes it water, fog, and dust resistant. Moreover, the O-ring seal keeps out water and dust while the Nitrogen purged makes it fog proof.

This Raptor binocular also come with tethered objective lens covers. It has a lightweight design that reduces strain from your eyes, hands, and neck.

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Pros

  • Provides 390 feet wide field of view
  • The IPD range is wide from 50-70 mm
  • Fully rubber coated body for easy gripping and protection
  • Completely water, dust, and fog proof
  • Enhanced resolution and contrast due to phase correction coating

Cons

  • It is not tripod adaptable
  • Not very suitable for adults with very wide IPD

 

2. Celestron Nature DX 8×32 Binoculars

Another high-quality binocular within an affordable price limit is the Celestron Nature DX. It has been maintaining a long-standing tradition in the brand and is known to provide unrivaled quality due to premium design with multi-coated optics.

These binoculars are well worth their low cost, and the value for money is simply outstanding. Suitable for both beginner and intermediate level users, the Celestron Nature is currently the fan-favorite.

Nature DX 8×32 comes with many amazing features like close focus zoom. This zoom helps you with easy focus on an object which is nearby for a more in-depth examination. If you’re avid bird water, this feature will be the thing you can fall in love with.

Additionally, this binocular also contains Nitrogen in the lenses that help to prevent any fogging inside. It also stops any deterioration to form inside. Although this has become a common feature among many binoculars nowadays, it certainly is very useful and can make a big difference.

The twist-up eyecups help in positioning the binocular in a way that suits best for the user. If you’re wearing glasses, these eyecups can be used wearing them as well.

One of the most important features of this Celestron Nature DX is the phase-coated BAK-4 prism and the multi-coated optic. They help establish the crispiest image quality with the perfect resolution to contrast balance.

Besides, the multi-coated optics increases the light levels inside, creating higher image quality. This means, even in low-light conditions, the image quality will still be impressive.

As for the design and build quality, the binocular has been made lightweight to strike the perfect balance with its size. It can withstand almost every weather condition as well. The all-around rubber-armor coating makes it resistant to water damage and allows easier grip.

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Pros

  • A perfect companion for avid bird watchers
  • Incredible flexibility due to wide FOV and close focus zoom
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Phase-coated BAK-4 prisms bring a well-defined overall image

Cons

  • The image gets a bit blurrier farther away from the center

 

3. Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular

Originally owned by a Chinese company named Hu Shuqing, the Gosky company is currently placed in the US that has been operating in the optics market there since 2004. In recent years it has gained considerable praise from customers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Their Gosky Roof Prism binocular has been made astonishingly affordable due to the modern production facilities. It has also been built robustly for beginners who love observing nature, not expecting the highest optical performance at this affordable price.

When you look at this product, the first impression would be pretty good due to its compact size, lightweight, and rubber-armored housing for good grip. The optic is fully multi-layer coated with 18mm blue film eyepieces. As a result, the images appear crisp with optimal light transmission.

Moreover, its large smart-phase BAK-4 prisms come with dielectric coatings. This assures high reflectivity across the full visible range. And the resultant image becomes bright and clear.

Interestingly, the Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular also features a smartphone adapter that is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

This adapter attaches over one of the eyecups with the phone’s camera. As such you can record the view with your camera through this binocular to share with your friends and family.

Although its housing is made of aluminum alloy, it is not O-ring sealed. This means it won’t be waterproof, but it can withstand moderate rain.

All in all, this binocular will feel great in your hand and help you look at a long distance. Especially, the impressive field of view will allow to watch birds up to one thousand yards.

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Pros

  • Full multi-layer coated lens with BAD-4 prisms
  • 307 ft. large field of view
  • Includes smartphone adapter for both Android and iOS
  • Features tripod adapter connection

Cons

  • Not water-proof due to not being O-ring sealed

 

4. Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binocular

When you’re looking for waterproof binoculars for use in harsh conditions, Bushnell H2O 10×42 Waterproof Binocular is the perfect pick. Made by an industry leader in high-performance sports optics, it is Bushnell’s of the most trusted products.

This H2O comes with a 10×42 model. Here the 10x magnification ensures that you identify the target over a large distance. the 42mm objective lens keeps things bright by allowing lots of light.

Bushnell H2O features O-rings and nitrogen purging systems. Therefore, it stays dry while delivering good optics and stunning views. It also makes the binoculars completely waterproof and fog proof. This is a major concern for hunters during adverse weather conditions.

The H2O also offers you Bak-4 roof prisms with good light gathering capabilities. It maximizes light transmission as well as clarity. As a result, you get images with exceptional brightness, sharpness, and clarity.

Moreover, the individually coated lenses are multi-coated improving the overall image quality as well. It also minimizes glare by improving the light transmission.

Built to withstand very harsh hunting conditions, the H2O is built with lightweight aluminum chassis. This allows comfortable viewing in the field.

The armor is coated with tough rubber to help you keep the grip firm and provide cushioning during occasional drops. It can absorb much of the shock resulting from bumping into things.

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Pros

  • Light transmission is excellent
  • Toughest hunting binocular
  • Heavily water and fog-resistant
  • Adjustable long eye relief is ideal for hunters with glasses

Cons

  • Takes longer to focus under challenging conditions

 

5. Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8×42

The Nikon 8245 ACULON is an all-weather-proof binocular able to perform in the most rugged environments and unfriendly weather conditions. Designed to be comfortable and easy to use, this binocular can be used in different settings.

It has a rugged design that makes it very durable to hold up under harsh conditions encountered by hunters.

ACULON has glass and lenses with a unique design that sets it apart from the rest. They are made with specially treated spherical eco glass that provides multiple benefits.

Firstly, it is free of arsenic and lead that is not friendly to the environment. In addition, this specialized treatment enhances the viewing experience as well.

Furthermore, the product is also crafted with Aspherical eyepiece lenses that can provide a flatter field of view by minimizing spherical aberrations. These lenses can correct astigmatism better than other lenses as well.

You don’t also have to worry about fogging the lens due to the anti-fog coating on them. This coating helps you spot animals in the wild from distance, even under changing temperature conditions or humidity levels.

There is a protective rubber coating that makes this Nikon ACULON comfortable to the eyes, and this eye relief is a good fit for most average-sized users.

As for the prism design, it is Porro rather than Roof. Although roof prisms get a lot of attention these days, Porro prisms can be superior as it has fewer reflections to make in the light path. That’s why you get a deeper image with 3D effects.

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Pros

  • Build lightweight with ergonomic design
  • Holds up well under rugged conditions
  • Aspherical eyepiece lenses provide a flatter viewing field
  • Eco-glass lenses bring sharper images and reduce image distortion

Cons

  • Sometimes there is blurring and image distortion around the edges

 

6. Celestron Outland X 10×42 Binoculars

This product from Celestron has been designed to meet the needs of most outdoor enthusiasts. The Outland X provides you with a combination of powerful optics with a premium build design.

With the inclusion of close focus zoom and many other features to provide you with the best of images, this is a fantastic choice if you expect to receive fantastic value for the money.

The Celestron Outland X strikes an excellent balance by offering a lightweight and compact design with durable construction material. Its size is very useful to fit into a large pocket. So, you can easily take it anywhere you like.

There is rubber-armor coating overall the binocular giving you an incredibly durable vibe. This armor protects the item from most weather conditions.

Fully waterproof and damage resistant, the Outland X features many other features to tweak performance. It has a large focusing knob that allows you precision focusing.

Moreover, the twist-down eyecups provide eye relief to void any potential eye strain after long-term usage. Besides, this also works perfectly with those wearing glasses.

The optics are multi-coated, increasing the rate of light transmission. So, as the light increases, the image becomes more defined.

Furthermore, its color fidelity is greatly enhanced due to the BAK-4 prisms allowing true representation with a more precise image and high-class performance.

This binocular has a field of view that is linear at a 1 km distance which I valued at 98 meters. Therefore, if you’re opting for a small magnification, the power on this item will offer a larger FOV.

With all these outstanding features, the Outland X feels like it is mostly suited for birdwatching. However, although its multi-coated optics will provide you with fantastic image quality, there might be some color fringing at the side of the lens, which isn’t noticeable much.

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Pros

  • Lightweight and solid build for rough weather
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Non-slip armored construction
  • Twist down eyecups provide great eye relief

Cons

  • Not well suited for people with a large pupillary distance

 

7. Wingspan Optics Voyager 10X42

Created specifically for all the bird watchers, Wingspan Optics offers the best binoculars within a budget price. Engineered to achieve high-quality and superior functionality,

Every aspect of this optics has blended both style and performance. The Voyager 10×42 is one of the top waterproof binoculars under $100 that gives you everything you need to get the experience you crave.

This compact UltraHD Voyager is for all types of birdwatchers, from serious ones to beginning enthusiasts under all types of weather or terrain. Designed to go from wide view to the sharpest focus in seconds, the Wingspan Optics delivers powerful images all the time.

The lenses are 42mm fully multi-coated to deliver your bright images and color fidelity. It also features roof prism BAK-4, which adds more quality to the crispy image.

Wingspan Voyager is Nitrogen purged, which means it is also fully waterproof. So, you can use it even during heavy rain.

Weighing only 1 lb., the binocular is very lightweight to carry around without trouble.

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Pros

  • Sharp and crisp image for birdwatchers
  • 42mm multi-coated lens for added brightness
  • Fully waterproof and fog proof due to Nitrogen purged
  • Anti-slip grip for better handling

Cons

  • Sometimes focusing takes time

 

8. Celestron 71008 Skymaster 25×70

This pair of binoculars is designed for high-performance usages like viewing astronomical objects, long-distance land viewing, and the likes of these. Such high-powered precision binoculars are engineered to meet the demands of people who like magnification boost for watching very far distant objects.

The main body of this Celestron Skymaster is pretty traditional-looking. It features very large 70mm objective lenses and long barrels with a large centrality located focusing wheel.

Such a design makes for a comfortable holding position preventing fatigue while using for a long time. When you want to spot aircraft, meteors, or other celestial bodies, this Skymaster will provide a good service.

The 71008 features lenses that are designed to provide you with the clearest and sharpest of images due to specialized treatment in multiple layers on them. Besides, this high-quality image is also produced due to the twilight factor of 41.83 enhancing night viewing.

Additionally, the high-quality BAK-4 prisms also increase the integrity of the color distribution and lessen distortion. Finally, you get a crisp and clear image no matter what distance you look.

This binocular is also tripod adaptable. While looking at a very long distance, having a stable platform results in a shake-free view. It also takes the weight off of you enabling you to relax.

As for the interpupillary distance, it can be adjusted from 7.2 cm to 5.6 cm, which matches most people.

However, a common issue for such long distant viewing binoculars is that there is not enough distance to comfortably use them with eyeglasses. Fortunately, this Celestron features 13mm eye relief which makes with ideal for those with glasses as well.

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Pros

  • Perfect budget-friendly binocular for viewing celestial objects
  • Comes with a tripod adapter and convenient carrying case
  • Traditional looking design to reduce fatigue of long-term usage
  • The eye relief is suitable for those with glasses

Cons

  • Not fog-proof if there is a lot of moisture in the air

 

9. Bushnell PowerView 10×50

Bushnell binoculars are made to observe nature and sports for their lovers. Besides, their binoculars are also used for a wide range of tasks such as hunting, marine, birding, travel, etc.

Among the many models available, their PowerView has become a constant favorite for most outdoor enthusiasts as a powerful yet affordable instrument. With a 10×50 wide angle binocular, it produces 10x magnification combined with a very wide field of view.

Its high light-gathering power enables you with detailed observation of anything you wish.  The field of view of this PowerView is about a thousand-yard which is an excellent value for its price range.

Ideal for detailed scanning of wide-open areas even in low light conditions, the Bushnell PowerView features 50 mm objective lenses with an exit pupil of 5mm.

Besides, the fully multi-coated lenses can be used for as long as the eyesight allows even under dark. These full coatings also guarantee superior light transmission level delivering crisp and clear images.

Especially the device’s InstaFocus feature is for central focusing of the left eye which is a patented single touch system. It assists in maintaining the viewed object with high contrast and minimal color aberrations.

Finally, the eye relief — which lacks a little compared to competitors — should serve most users just fine. Its fold-down eyecups also ensure a comfortable viewing experience.

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Pros

  • Effortless focusing with InstaFocus
  • Good zoom with object lens size for a clear and wider image
  • Greatly useful for birding and sports events
  • The crisp and bright image even in darker conditions

Cons

  • It falls short in terms of waterproofing

 10.  Leupold BX-1 Rogue Compact Binocular

Our last item is a nice-looking entry-level to intermediate pair of binoculars from Leupold. The BX-1 is an excellent choice for a shopper on a budget who wants to get into hunting, birding, or watching events.

In terms of the design, it is small in size but quite large in quantity. Having an ergonomic slim, and lightweight design made of an aluminum body, the binocular fits well in your hands.

The rubberized exterior gives you’re a firm grip and protects the instrument from wear and tear. You can use them for hours without feeling fatigued.

Leupold BX-1 is equipped with an advanced optical system with a multi-coated lens that guarantees clear images. The BAF-4 prisms also provide sharp images of the surroundings.

In addition, the reverse Porro design delivers a bright image quality. Although Porro prisms are known for being heavier and bigger, the BX-1 still can maintain its size compact.

All of these optical excellencies together ensure a clear image with all the visible colors having excellent contrast and accuracy.

This pair of binoculars is also fog and waterproof that won’t let any moisture distort your view.

 

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Pros

  • BaK-4 prisms deliver excellent performance in low-light conditions
  • Able to focus fast and accurately with quick adjustments
  • It has a fairly small profile with an ergonomic design
  • Fully multi-coated lenses provide maximum light transmission

Cons

  • It is a small objective lens which might not be suitable for big hands

 

Conclusion

Finally, we can say that buying a budget pair of binoculars doesn’t really mean hampering the viewing experience. However, you might need to put a little more care to manage these budget pairs.

The ten selected models are what we think are the best binoculars under $100 at the moment. Hopefully, the reviews have helped you find the model that suits you most.

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Birding

10 Best Binoculars Under $200

With a great pair of binoculars, you can relax and enjoy the natural beauty this world has to offer. Birding or landscaping is an amazing hobby you can easily pick up with a great pair of binoculars.

However, you don’t need to break the bank to buy the perfect pair. Just a good pair of durable and budget-friendly binoculars are what you need to start with this.

If you’re keen to get on with it, then check out our picks for the top 10 best binoculars under $200 in this in-depth review article.

 

 Best Binoculars Under $200

Below are the reviews of the top ten binoculars under the 200 dollar mark, along with their specific pros and cons –

 

1. Wingspan Optics CrystalView UltraHD 8X42

This American manufacturer makes pretty good high-quality binoculars specifically for bird watching. Widely known for affordable prices with outstanding quality, Wingspan binoculars are popular among bird watchers out there.

The CrystalView comes with an impressive design with great optical technology that includes nice features. Its glass lenses are ultra-high-definition with fully multi-coating. ED optical glass provides transmission with a 42 mm lens diameter. Both of these allow the instrument to collect plenty of light.

Moreover, its BAK-4 prisms are phase-corrected, resulting in increased color fidelity, contrast, and clear high-definition images. With these features, the color clarity is augmented, and any chromatic aberration is minimized.

In terms of view, the Wingspan CrystalView has a wide FOV that lets you better follow the motion of the flying birds in a natural environment. If you’re a serious bird watcher, you’ll love its wide field of view with 8x magnification power. This pair of binoculars let you enjoy the whole scenery without missing a thing.

The Wingspan Optics CrystalView also features a Close Focus option when the featured friends get close. This feature has a range of just about 6 feet, and it lets you zoom in on the object for a detailed view.

In addition, there is also a long eye relief of 17.2 mm to give you enough clearance. Even if you’re wearing glasses, it won’t hamper you from enjoying the full view.

Binoculars have to deal with bad weather from time to time. That’s why they need an O-ring and Nitrogen sealant so that the instrument becomes waterproof and fog proof. The CrystalView doesn’t fall behind this feature either.

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Pros

  • Fully-multi coated lenses with phase correction
  • Lightweight and sleek designed
  • The color quality is impressive with crisp image
  • Extra-wide field of view helps scan large areas

Cons

  • The chassis is plastic made

 

2. Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22×50

The Aculon 8252 from Nikon is an ideal pair of binoculars for hunters, birders, and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s multi-purpose functionality equipment designed with the power of a telescope. Aculon’s wide range of magnification and other features takes versatility to a whole new level.

These binoculars are light and portable enough to carry around the neck without being fatigued. You can also move them effortlessly between landscape and focal point of interest. Nothing else can be as ideal for long hikes and mountain climbs.

Nikon 8252 does set the bar for other binoculars with its environmentally friendly eco-glass. This is made without the need for lead or arsenic. Incorporating these lenses improves the clarity, sharpness, and precision of the images.

Moreover, the extra-low dispersion glasses with anti-reflection multi-coated aspherical eyepiece lenses will correct any spherical aberrations. These lenses are also complementing the BAK-4 Porro prism light path. All of these enhance the depth of field and result in the crispest of images.

The 10x and 22x zoom magnifications over a 50mm objective lens provide you with the widest views at low magnification. You can enjoy more detailed observations of nature with these binocs.

An interesting feature of A211 is the left-eye dioptric correction that compensates for any user’s optical prescription. As such, anyone can have the clearest and the sharpest of views.

Aculon also comes with 8.6mm eye relief which isn’t much compared to its competitors. However, that is enough for even glass wearers to use comfortably.

Overall, with ergonomic design and rubber-armored housing, this instrument can fit comfortably in your hand without slipping. It is also tripod adapted to eliminate any shakes from your arms.

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Pros

  • Outstanding magnification power between 10 and 22
  • Built-in multi-coated eco glass provides crisp images
  • Zoom feature provides a wide magnification range
  • The left-eye dioptric correction makes it compatible with any user
  • Smooth central focus knob for quick viewing

Cons

  • Adjusting the eyecups might get difficult

 

3. Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker 8×42

If you’re an aspiring stargazer who wants to spend time looking at the heavenly bodies in the sky, the TrailSeeker 8×42 will be a well-suited instrument.

This pair of roof prism binoculars is quite affordable to most users. It combines premium design with excellent build quality. The optical design is also made to get the most from a night sky.

Weighing only 655g, this pair of Celestron binoculars are also compact, considering it was built with magnesium alloy. Almost all other bins within this price level are made with polycarbonate plastic frames, which are cheaper. However, magnesium brings that extra feel of quality to the instrument.

The TrailSeeker has almost all the features you’d expect with this price. It comes with 42mm objective lenses with multi-coated optics BAK-4 glass. The 8x magnification along with 42mm objectives proves the right balance of quality and portability.

Celestron 71404 also possesses a roof prism optical system. This means more light can pass through, ensuring sharp, colorful, and perfectly contrasted images. You can enjoy the night sky with these surprisingly compact binocs with utmost ease.

The focus knob of this pair is simple and fine-tuned. It is also comfortable to hold due to the perfect size and slimmer shape. Additionally, the rubber feels Stucky at hand, which gives you a better grip.

It’s 17mm eye relief with two intermediate click stops; ensure you can use it even wearing glasses with enough flexibility to spare. Overall, the TrailSeeker 8×42 is one of the best-valued mid-range binoculars you could pick with a roof prism optical system.

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Pros

  • Superb build quality with magnesium alloy
  • Multi-coated optics BAK-4 glass provides balanced image quality
  • Very well suited for amateur stargazers at night
  • Lightweight and comfortable to the eyes

Cons

  • The lens caps tend to fall off

 

4. Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight Gen II

This is a unique item on our list of best binoculars under 200. The Vortex Crossfire Red Dot is the favorite item for any AR enthusiast and is suitable for beginner and intermediate-level shooters for all platforms.

This is a good choice if you’re in the market for a new red dot sight to mount on your rifle or shotgun. Made with high-grade aluminum with a hard anodized coating, this sight can withstand the rigors of many shooting scenarios.

The Red Dot Sight Gen II is Nitrogen purged with O-ring sealed chassis to make it resistant to moisture, dust, and debris at all costs.

Crossfire Red Dot comes with a single reticle option with 2 MOA LED-illuminated red dots. There are also 11 reticle brightness settings, eight of which are for daylight conditions.

Vortex Optics utilizes a CR 2032 3-volt lithium coin battery that provides it with 50,000 hours of non-stop operation.

You’ll notice two mounting height options with it right out of the box, both of which require your firearm to be equipped with a Picatinny or Weaver-style base.

If you’re worried about the image, rest assured that its super tough lens configuration provides the best of images you could ever get in this price range.

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Pros

  • Eye-relief provides rapid target acquisition
  • O-ring seal prevents moisture and dirt
  • The battery provides 50,000 operational hours
  • There are 2x mounting options

Cons

  • The brightness knob may be difficult to turn

 

5. Bushnell Legend L-Series 10×42

This piece of binoculars from Bushnell lives up to its name “Legend” by offering a perfect optical performance with ultra-wideband coatings. It takes perfection a step further by employing the extra-low-dispersion (ED) glass. This can eliminate any type of chromatic aberration.

In addition, the entire optical system of these L-series binoculars comes with multi-coated ultra-wide band coatings that produce bright and clear images even in low light conditions.

Bushnell Legend L-series provides you with an immersive observational experience with high-contrast and accurate color transmission. Its roof prisms are made with BAK-4 glass treated with a chemical layer to correct “phase shift.”

The “phase shift” occurs when it passes through the roof prism and results in a far higher definition view that other roof prism binocs can’t reach.

Constructed with lightweight and corrosion-resistant magnesium chassis with O-ring sealed, this pair of binoculars is fog and waterproof. The black rubber armoring all around it protects the instrument against most impacts and drops. It also helps make it slip-resistant by giving a proper grip to your hands.

You’ll also notice a large knurled center focus wheel on the Legend L-series that is easy to use even while wearing gloves. The diopter can also be locked in place to prevent accidental adjustment.

Another interesting and unique feature is the proprietary RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coatings that save them from water or oil beads. Thus, even during rain, fog, or snow, your vision will not be compromised.

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Pros

  • The glass is ED and lead-free
  • Ultra-wide field of view
  • Fully weatherproof due to RainGuard
  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant magnesium alloy chassis

Cons

  • The eyecups tend to get loose

 

6. Nikon 16003 PROSTAFF 7S

This item represents one of the most powerful models from Nikon’s flagship line. The ProStaff 7S comes with an array of optical features and an impressive design that gives you the ability to view the clearest image even in the harshest weather.

Complementing the optical performance of 16003 is the construction details as well. It is lightweight and corrosion-resistant due to the reinforced polycarbonate resin chassis build, which makes it durable.

In addition, it has a black rubberized armor accented with textured palm pads giving it a secure non-slip grip. This adds an extra point towards it being resistant to drops and shocks. But it is highly unlikely due to the anti-slip grip.

The focus knob has good access and is not difficult to adjust while acting either.

Nikon ProStaff has an optical magnification of 10x which means you can see objects 10 times bigger than with your naked eyes. With this, you can watch birds and wildlife closely without the need for a tripod.

The front glass element has a 42mm diameter which would be the sweet spot since it is wide enough to carry low-light observations and small enough to make it light and portable. This 42mm aperture boosts the light-gathering ability improving the image during challenging weather conditions.

Its roof prisms are phase-corrected. They are also treated with a highly reflective mirror. As a result, the light transmission is maximized, and the internal diffraction or interference is minimized at the same time.

You don’t have to worry about moisture building inside the instrument due to being nitrogen purged. It also has an ocular rain-guard that protects the eyecups from water pooling.

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Pros

  • Phase corrected compact roof prisms reduce internal interference
  • Highly reflective mirror prism coatings reduce refraction
  • The resulting image is bright, crisp, and sharp, close to reality
  • Right eye dioptric adjustment collar compensates for individual eye prescription

Cons

  • Not meant to be used for stargazing

 

7. Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 EX Extreme

The Nikon EX Extreme is an ideal high-power optic especially made for rough situations. Boaters who often find themselves on rough seas can use this pair without any worries.

Action Extreme comes with a wide exit pupil and FOV that helps mitigate the disorientation while looking through the binoculars on the water.

The build quality also complements this feature to withstand the rigors of outdoor life. 4245 features a chassis wrapped in rubber armor, providing a sure reliable grip no matter the condition.

This rugged design makes the binoculars shockproof and a great companion for energy-intensive hikes. It can also take heavy beatings without any lasting damage.

Along with the Porro prism design, the EX-Extreme employs dielectric multilayer coatings to deliver unparalleled sharpness. You can see clear and crisp images even in low light conditions.

The 10×50 binoculars offer precision aligned optics to deliver the best image quality. Its optical tube is filled with nitrogen and sealed with O-ring, therefore making it waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, no matter the weather condition.

Nikon Action Extreme also can be mounted on a tripod for convenient hands-free use.

 

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Pros

  • BAK-4 traditional Porro prism offers bright and sharp images
  • Wide exit pupil and field of view for mitigating discomfort
  • It is an All-Terrain Binocular guaranteeing the best performance
  • Ocular rain guard to prevent water clogging

Cons

  • It is a bit on the heavier side

 

8. Leupold BX-1 McKenzie Binocular

The McKenzie BX-1 is Leupold’s one of the most affordable products, and it is also one of the most popular ones for birding and sightseeing. Due to its popularity, this McKenzie didn’t have to fight hard to get into our list of best binoculars under $200.

This budget instrument is great for viewing nature, birds, and landscapes with incredible clarity. It features a roof prism design with phase coatings that increase the resolution of the images, resulting in an edge-to-edge view of the field.

The advanced optical system of BX-1 includes high-definition Calcium Fluoride (CaFl) that provides exceptional clarity with whatever magnification you have. This is a must if you want HD performance on long-range viewing.

The coatings are fully multi-coated for maximum light transmission. In addition, the BAK-4 prisms also display flawless round exit pupils producing crystal-clear and bright images without distortion at the edges.

What’s more, this BX-1 can also handle twilight conditions very well due to the included Twilight Light Management System.

Another important feature of this binocular is the central focus knob which has been placed in the middle of the two barrels to make sure you can use it conveniently. Besides, focusing doesn’t take much time either.

The replaceable twist-up eyecups come in handy if they get damaged while using. You can use this binocular without any trouble, even if you’re wearing glasses.

Finally, this ergonomically built instrument is constructed with aluminum and rubberized armor, making it hard impact-proof and shockproof. There is little chance of it being damaged if it falls accidentally.

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Pros

  • It is tripod adaptable
  • Twist-up eyecups are replaceable
  • Fully multi-coated lenses provide maximum light transmission
  • Rubberized body armor for better grip and shock resistance

Cons

  • This powerful optics is slightly heavy to use

 

9. Vanguard Spirit XF

One of the most budget-friendly options on our list comes from Vanguard. These 10×42 binoculars are commonly recommended as an all-rounder for general as well as nature observation which certainly holds.

Like many modern ones, the Spirit XF has an open bridge design that easily helps you carry it. It has a tough and durable polycarbonate made frame. The exterior surface is covered with thick rubber armoring that helps protect it from knocks and bumps. Plus, the strategically placed dimples ensure a non-slip surface.

The Spirit XF also has fully multi-coated optics and prisms made of BAK-4 optical grade phase coating glass. Moreover, its 10x magnification also lets you have the most detailed observation from a very long distance.

You can view clear images in low light conditions with the 42mm objectives, which can draw copious amounts of light.

Vanguard also uses extra-low dispersion glass for the lenses made specially to reduce chromatic aberration in the image. In addition to this, the wide field of view will also provide you with an immersive observations experience with accurate color and high-contrast images.

In terms of protection, the Spirit XF is sealed with O-rings that prevent any moisture or dust from getting inside. The dry nitrogen-filled barrel also inhibits fogging and corrosion.

 

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Pros

  • Shockproof rubber armored magnesium body
  • A fully multi-coated lens provides crisp images
  • The open bridge body design makes it easier to handle
  • Long eye relief with 2 stage twist-out eyecups

Cons

  • There is some edge shedding

 

10. Bushnell Excursion HD Roof Prism Binocular

Our final item is another pair of binoculars from the reputable Bushnell family. This model features a lightweight design with multi-coated optics for crystal clear images. Popularly used for bird watching, this unit also offers you quick focus abilities with all-weather usability.

The Excursion has a composite chassis that is tough as well as durable. Its rugged design makes it a balanced tool to be used for years. Interestingly, it has an oversized center focusing knob, making it a breeze to keep your target in good view.

This lockable central focus knob helps you easily track the movement of birds just by moving your head. With moving targets, it often becomes hard to focus or relocate.

Bushnell Excursion comes with 10x magnification power with a 42mm objective lens. It also features fully multi-coated BAK-4 roof prisms resulting in a sharp and bright image.

The multicoating along with the roof prism design ensures phase correction for optimal light transmission. Furthermore, the environment-friendly lead-free glass hit the nail right on the head as well.

Bright optics of this pair of binoculars deliver good resolution and color fidelity over 100 yards of view at 1000 yards of distance. This wide field of view gives you access to the tiniest background elements as well.

The manufacturer of this Excursion HD Roof Prism Binocular made sure to make it waterproof and fog-resistant. This allows any bird watcher to keep a lookout over a vast territory.

As for comfort, the 15.5 mm eye relief allows you an extended view without any fatigue in your eyes.

 

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Pros

  • Large lockable center focus helps capture every moment
  • Waterproof and antifog keeps binoculars resistant to weather
  • Fully multi-coated roof prisms for a clear and bright image
  • A wide field of view gives great background access

Cons

  • The lens caps aren’t of good quality

 

Final Words

We’ve gone through dozens of binoculars and found these 10 to be the best within the budget. With any one of these binoculars, you can do sightseeing confidently, knowing you have the power of premium optics on your side.

We hope that our reviews of the best binoculars under $200 have helped you make a quick and easy decision to pick the perfect pair.

Read Also:

Best Binoculars under $50

Best Binoculars under $100

Best Binoculars under $300

Best Binoculars under $500

Binoculars for Whale Watching

Categories
Birding

10 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching in 2022

Whales do not feel comfortable being around water vehicles. That is why it becomes pretty hard to study and mesmerize the beauty of these mammals. For that reason, we picked up a couple of hunting binos for whale watching on a trip. But luck was not on our side; the whales did not get that close. In fact, they remained so far that we could barely see their fins with the bino.

That is when we started looking for the best binoculars for whale watching. However, getting one of them was not as easy as it seemed at first. We had to do a lot of testing and a lot of comparing. And through this article, we will ensure that you can get one without going through the hassles we had to go through.

 

10 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching

We have scrutinized all of the models that seemed promising to us. And after comparing them head to head and testing all units for days, we have concluded that these are the ones that one should be spending their money on:

A Quick Comparison (updated in 2022)

 

  1. Nikon 7245 Action 10×50

When it comes to lenses and optics, one of the well-known brands is Nikon. And they are now offering a competent lineup for whale watching. But among all of the available models, this one stood out the most to us.

Firstly, the chassisis totally made of metal. That makes it highly durable. Accidental impacts will not be a thing that you would need to worry about. And even though it is made of metal, the whole thing is pretty light in weight, which means operating it for a long time will not be an issue at all.

Furthermore, it has a polycarbonate shell. This shell enhances the shockproofing factor. So, it will be more resistant to accidental drops. And the lenses are well-sealed and have proper O-rings. Those two traits will ensure that no droplets of water get inside while you are whale watching.

The unit even has gas purged inside. As a result, the chances of fog building inside while you are moving from one area to another on the water will be considerably low.

Alongside that, the magnification power of the lenses is up to 10x. And the lenses offer crisp and clear images, which will make it easier to study and gaze at the mesmerizing mammals of the sea.

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Pros

  • The chassis is of metal
  • Highly resistant to shocks
  • Fog proof and waterproof
  • Can magnify up to 10x
  • Light in weight

Cons

  • The lens covers are not properly designed
  • It might not come with a strap

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

The fact that it has a metal chassis and does not weigh that much truly amazed us. And let us not forget that it can magnify up to 10x and offer crips and clear images.

 

  1. Bushnell 8 x 42-mm

It goes without saying, the better the lenses, the better the binos are going to be. Well, Bushnell knew that exactly well, which is why they have integrated advanced optics in this offering.

As we have mentioned, this offering integrates Porro Prism technology. This technology will enhance the quality of the image and ensure a stellar whale-watching experience. Also, it has BAK-4 prisms, which are fully multi-coated. Those coatings will do a proper job of improving the light transmission.

Additionally, as the lenses are correctly coated, there will be no need to worry about internal reflections. The images will be crisp and clear in quality, and you will be able to gaze upon each of the details of the whales. There is also a large focus knob on the middle, which will make it easier to make adjustments.

Moreover, the objective lens is 42mm large. And the close focus distance is 18 feet, which is impressive. Also, the eye relief is 17mm, making it easier to view the lenses properly. The bino even can magnify up to 8 times. So, it will be easier to study these mammals when they are far from your boat.

On that note, the body of the bino has a non-slip rubber coating and soft texture grips. Those will make the thing durable and comfortable to hold onto.

 

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Pros

  • Integrates Porro Prism technology
  • Has BAK-4 prims with multiple coatings
  • The focus knob is large
  • Features a 42mm objective lens
  • Sports a non-slip rubber exterior

Cons

  • The O-rings on some of the units are not that durable
  • It does not have a good build quality

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This one sports Porro Prism technology and has a multi-coated lens. Also, thanks to the rubber coating on the exterior, it will be easier to operate it comfortably for hours.

 

  1. Wingspan Optics WideViews

When it comes to spotting something in an open area, the field of view of the binos plays a crucial role. Well, Wingspan had factored that in when they were designing this binocular for the whale watchers.

To start with, it has an extra-wide field of view. The field of view is at 430 feet, which is not that common among all other available models. And even though the field of view is exceptionally wide, focusing on the whales will not be an issue. It has a close focusing knob that is pretty easy to work with.

Now, speaking of the lenses, they are top-notch. It has phase-corrected prisms that are coated with proper coatings. Thanks to those coatings, the images turn out sharp, no matter how challenging the weather or the sea might be. And the brightness level is also up to the mark.

The bino has a good build quality too. It uses the nitrogen purging method to keep all the fog away from the inside. Also, the body has a proper sealing that will keep water and moisture away from the internals. Even the O-rings are proper in this unit.

Lastly, as the internal is nitrogen purged, there will be no need to worry about sudden temperature changes ruining your whale-watching experience.

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Pros

  • It has a wide field of view
  • The lenses feature a proper coating
  • Nitrogen purged
  • Utilizes proper O-rings
  • Can offer crisp, clear, and bright images

Cons

  • The focusing knob is a bit stiff at the beginning
  • Might have some oil residues on the lens

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

It has an exceptionally wide field of view. To top that off, it has top-notch lenses, and the focusing knob offers a substantial amount of control.

 

  1. Athlon Optics Midas Roof

You might have already heard about Athlon. Yes, they are pretty popular when it comes to optics. And they are well-known for a good reason, which this product can illustrate adequately.

First of all, the bino utilizes ED glass. Now, you might be wondering what exactly an ED glass is. Well, it holds the ability to offer images withthe lowest amount of chromatic fringe. That means the final image will be sharp and clear, which is always a plus point when it comes to whale watching.

The lenses even have Dielectric coatings, which will mitigate 99 percent of the reflection issues. As a result, the images will be full of life, and the color correction level of the pictures will be exceptionally high. The eye relief is reasonably long too. That will make it easier for the whale-watchers who wear glasses.

Besides that, the lenses also have advanced FMC coating. This coating enhances the light transmission rate and optimizes the overall brightness. Also, it does a proper job at maintaining the optimal color across a wide range of the light spectrum. The picture you will view will be bright and crisp.

This internal of the bino is argon purged. As you know, inert purging makes the whole thing fogproof and waterproof, which is also applicable here.

 

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Pros

  • Utilizes ED glass
  • The color of the images is pretty accurate
  • Maintains an optimal brightness
  • Has advanced FMC on the lenses
  • Sports a long eye relief

Cons

  • Comparatively narrow field of view
  • The focus ring has a weird play to it

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

The ED glasses are the main selling point of this bino. And the lenses certainly deserve all the praises it gets. Also, the eye relief of this one is considerably long.

 

  1. Bushnell Marine 7×50

The manufacturer Bushnell surely makes amazing binos. That is why their offerings are making multiple entries on this list. And to know what this particular one has to offer,you need to read the entire review.

First, the optics! The brand has utilized high-quality lenses on this one. They are well capable of offering stunning sharpness and high-definition images. Thanks to that, watching whales will become an enjoyable experience. Also, it has a 50mm large objective lens and can magnify up to 7 times.

Moreover, the BAK-4 prims technology that the manufacturer has integrated into this offering will enhance the whale-watching experience even further. The multi-coated lenses will ensure that the internal reflection is close to zero. Also, it has UVprotection, which will make the images clearer and sharper.

There is Porro prims technology too. That will make sure that the field of view is wide and you do not have any trouble spotting and gazing upon the whales at sea. The body also has hermitical sealing and corrosion-resistant coating on the exterior. So, you can use it in harsh and challenging environments without issues.

This one also features a non-slip rubber coating on the body. That coating will make sure you can grip the bino comfortably.

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Pros

  • Utilizes high-quality optics
  • Can magnify up to 7x
  • Integrates Bak-4 prism technology
  • It has a wide field of view
  • Resistant to water and corrosion

Cons

  • Does not have a master focus knob
  • A bit heavy

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Firstly, it has high-quality optics. And the optics can magnify upto 7x. Secondly, it utilizes Bak-4 and Porro prism technology, which will enhance the quality of the images.

 

  1. Wingspan Optics NaturePro HD 8X42

Like Bushnell, we are covering yet another offering that is from Wingspan. And like the previous model from Wingspan, this one has loads to offer.

Unlike some of the average offerings, this bino is comparatively compact in size. The compact nature makes it highly ergonomic. And the ergonomics get further enhanced for the anti-slip coating it sports. You will be able to grip it with complete confidence.

Talking of which, it has a fog-proof, waterproof, and impact-resistant body. The internals is inert gas purged, and it has a good sealing on the lenses. So, it will not show any integrity issues even in extreme sea environments.

The lenses of the unit are up to the mark as well. They are well capable of offering HD images. And thanks to utilizing different technologies, the images’ sharpness and clarity will surely amaze you while watching and studying the whales. Also, the color remains pretty accurate across all scenarios.

Apart from that, there is a close focus knob. That will ensure that you can properly focus on the whales when they are relatively close to the boar. Also, the wide field of view will make it easier to spot whales on the open sea.

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Pros

  • It has a relatively compact form factor
  • The lenses have a proper sealing
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and impact-resistant
  • Boasts a wide field of view
  • Sports a close focus knob

Cons

  • The twist-locking mechanism is a bit stiff
  • It does not come with any straps

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This one is yet another stellar offering from Wingspan. It has good overall build quality, is resistant to impacts, is waterproof and fogproof. Also, the field of view is pretty wide, and it has a close focus knob.

 

  1. Fujinon Techno Stabi TS1440

Want to get your hands on something that is exceptionally durable? Well, what you are probably looking for is this one that is from Fujinon.

The first thing that makes it stand out is the fiberglass construction. As the manufacturer did not utilize standard polycarbonate or plastic, it achieved a higher overall durability level. For that reason, you can expect it to remain in one piece after making it go through the intense and harsh weather conditions.

Furthermore, the body is resistant to water and moisture. It has proper sealing and utilizes good-quality O-rings to keep the internals protected. Also, there is inert gas purging. That will keep fogs away from the internal even when the weather is challenging and changing suddenly.

Additionally, it has digital features. There is a stabilization system that works in five degrees. Due to that, no matter how harsh the waves are, you will not face any issues while watching the beautiful whales. And it does not require that much power either. Only four AA alkaline batteries will be enough to make it operate.

It even has a center focus mechanism. That knob will make it easier to focus on specific areas. Also, the unit has rubber armor and an anti-slip coating, which makes the whole thing highly grip-able.

 

 

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Pros

  • It has a fiberglass construction
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Features a digital stabilizing mechanism
  • Sports a center focus system
  • Boasts anti-slip coating on the exterior

Cons

  • The form factor is not that compact
  • A bit on the heavier side

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Although it is not that compact and light in weight, it has a lot going. There is a digital stabilizing mechanism, and the build quality of the unit is truly unique.

 

  1. Celestron – SkyMaster 20X80

While there are plenty of binoculars available in the market, not all of them can magnify to an extensive amount. Well, if you were looking for one that has that capability, consider this one from Celestron.

Like we mentioned, this one can magnify up to 20 times. With that 20x magnification power, it will be possible to view the reasonably far whales from your boat correctly. The objective lenses are80mm, which will ensure that enough light can transmit through the optics.

Furthermore, it integrates BAK-4 prisms. That technology will allow you to view sharp, bright, and clear images even in challenging weather conditions. Also, because it can transmit a higher amount of light, you can view the whales properly, even in dimly lit environments.

Additionally, the build quality of the bino is up to the mark. It sports a rugged construction that is topped with armored coating. That coating increases the ruggedness of the unit and ensures that you can grip it securely and comfortably. The exterior is water-resistant as well.

Lastly, it includes a tripod adapter. That will offer the ability to use the bino in hands-free mode. And as the unit is pretty compact, carrying it will not be an issue either.

 

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Pros

  • Can magnify up to 20x
  • Utilizes BAK4 prisms
  • Capable of offering bright and clear images
  • Exceptionally durable
  • Features a tripod adapter

Cons

  • Not that lightweight
  • The eyecups feel a bit flimsy

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Firstly, it can magnify up to 20x. Secondly, it has BAK4 prisms. Those will ensure that you can view clear and sharp images no matter how challenging and harsh the environment is.

 

  1. Vortex Optics Vulture HD

One of the go-to brands for hunters is Vortex. They are well-known for offering high-quality and well-performing equipment in the market. And this bino from them is an excellent example of that.

The thing that makes this one so good is the extra-low dispersion optics. These lenses can offer a higher color fidelity, which will make the whales look natural. Also, the impressive resolution of the lenses will ensure that you do not miss any details while watching whales.

On that note, the lenses have dielectric coatings on the surface. As the optics are multi-coated, the images you will view will have a higher resolution, and the color accuracy will be up to the mark. Also, the unit is phase-corrected, enhancing the resolution even further.

There are anti-reflective coatings as well. Those will ensure that the internal reflections are close to zero. The FMC all-air-to-glass optics surfaces will increase light transmission and ensure that you have a stellar whale-watching experience even in dimly lit environments.

Furthermore, the field of view is pretty wide. It is 328 feet, and the close focus range is up to 9.8 feet.

 

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Pros

  • Uses extra-low dispersion optics
  • Higher color fidelity
  • The images have an impressive resolution
  • Sports multiple layers of coatings
  • It has a wide field of view

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • It might come with a mismatched carrier harness

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Just like most of the offerings from Vortex, this one is a decent performer. It offers high-quality and sharp images. Also, the optics can transmit light effectively.

 

  1. Canon 18×50

Are you on the lookout for something that has a built-in image stabilizing mechanism and can magnify extensively at the same time? Keep this offering from Canon on your consideration list.

Like we stated, this one has a built-in image stabilizing mechanism. The optical stabilizer can adequately keep the lenses stable. For that reason, the pictures you will view through them will not be shaky even when there are too many harsh waves shaking the boat around.

It does not even consume a high amount of power for the digital image stabilizer. You would only need to insert 2 AA batteries for that feature. Also, the bino holds the ability to magnify up to 18x. As a result, even when the whales are pretty far from the boat, you will not have any trouble viewing their beauties.

Even the field of view of the lenses is extra wide. That will make it easier to spot whales on the open sea. Also, the wide field of view will let more light travel through the internals, which will make the images bright and clear. And as the lenses are multi-coated, the clarity and the color will be top-notch too.

The build quality of the unit is also impressive. It is resistant to shocks and water. So, you can expect to get extended use out of it.

 

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Pros

  • Has an image stabilizing mechanism
  • It needs only 2 AA batteries
  • The field of view is pretty wide
  • Sports multi-coated lenses
  • Resistant to water and shocks

Cons

  • It comes with a cheap carrying case
  • A bit heavy in comparison with the other units

 

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This offering from Canon has a digital image stabilizing feature. And the best part is it does not require that much power to operate. Also, the images it provides are clear and bright.

 

What to Look for Before Buying

We know how excited you are after going through the review section. But before you decide to spend your valuable money on any of the models, you need to consider these factors:

 

Build Quality

The sea environment can be pretty harsh. It will have harsh waves that can make you drop things on the boat. That is why a build quality for the binos is pretty much essential. So, consider the construction material and ensure that the unit’s build quality is top-notch, or else it will not be able to take a few drops.

 

Waterproofing and Fog proofing

Just like the build quality, the product’s waterproofing and fog proofing ability are pretty crucial too. As you know, the temperature of the sea can rise and drop dramatically. And during those periods, fogs can build up in the internals. Well, that fog can hinder you from using the binos.

Moreover, if there is no proper sealing, moisture and water can get inside the tubes. That will make the images hazy and blurry. So, consider whether the unit you are shooting for has proper O-rings, sealing, and is inert gas purged or not.

 

Quality of the Lens

Even if the build quality is amazing and the unit is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, the whale watching experience will not be that great if the lenses are low quality. And when the lenses are high in quality, the image will have a sharp resolution and be clear, which will enhance the whale-watching experience.

 

Light Transmission

The light transmission capability plays a vital role in terms of making the images bright in low-light conditions. In this case, the field of view and the size of the objective lens will play an important role. The higher the field of view and lens size, the higher the light will transmit through the bino.

On that note, the field of view will also play an essential role in making it easier for you to spot whales on the open sea. So, prioritize this factor properly while choosing a bino.

 

Magnification

As you know by now, whales tend to stay pretty far from water vehicles. For that reason, getting a bino that can magnify extensively would be pretty wise. In this case, the higher the magnification ability, the better.

However, make sure that the lenses can retain the quality of the images in the high magnification ranges. Without having that, the magnification power will be pretty much useless.

 

Grippiness

One thing that most manufacturers skimp on is the rubber coating on the exterior. But that is pretty important. Without that coating, it becomes pretty hard to grip the binos securely. Also, that rubber coating lowers the chances of accidental drops, which can substantially enhance the units’ lifespan.

 

Form Factor

Last but not least, consider the form factor. We would highly recommend opting for something that is small and compact. Those will be not only highly portable but also easy to carry. Also, do ensure that the bino is not that heavy, or else you will not be able to carry it comfortably on your hands for a prolonged time.

 

How to Use These Whale Watching Binoculars

When it comes to the operational procedure, these do not really differ from other hunting binos. Nonetheless, the steps that you would need to follow to use these are:

 

Step 1: Uncover the Lens Caps

First, you need to take off the lens caps. Check whether the optics are clean or not. Clean them up with a microfiber cloth if you have to. However, some units might not have any lens caps. If you have one of them, just ensure that the lenses are clean.

 

Step 2: Spot the Whales

Adjust the focus ring to the normal range and look through the lenses to spot the whales. You might need to retract the eyecups to get a wider field of view.

 

Step 3: Focus on the Whale

Once you spot a whale, extend the eyecups to get a more focused view. Adjust the focus ring accordingly as well.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What magnification range is optimal for whale watching?

Usually, a bino that has 7x or 8x magnification power will be enough. However, to be on the safe side, we would recommend getting the 10x or higher ones.

 

  • Can I clean the lenses with a regular cloth?

No! You should not clean the lenses with a regular cloth. That might put scratches on the surface. Instead, use a microfiber cloth.

 

  • How often should I clean the lenses of a binocular?

That will depend on your usage case. If you are using the bino frequently, we recommend cleaning the lenses at least three times a week.

 

  • Are all whale-watching binoculars waterproof?

Most of them need to be waterproof. However, some will have higher water resistance, while some will be pretty much average.

 

  • Is it imperative for whale-watching binoculars to be fog proof?

Absolutely! The weather on the sea does not remain the same. Also, the moisture content of the environment will be exceptionally high on the sea. And in those conditions, fog can build up inside the binos. So, fog proofing is essential for a bino that is for whale watching.

 

Final Words

It will be pretty much impossible to get a decent whale watching experience by getting the best binoculars for whale watching. And we assure you that each one of the models we have reviewed is nothing but that.

We chose them after doing intensive tests,and they have checked each of the critical factors we have discussed above. So, you can get one without overthinking!

Read Also:

Best Binoculars under $50

Best Binoculars under $100

Best Binoculars Under $200

Best Binoculars under $300

Best Binoculars under $500

Categories
Birding

7 Best Binoculars Under $300

It can cost you as much as a thousand bucks to get the perfect binocular in the market. This isn’t a luxury most people can afford. But you don’t want to waste your money on any cheap binoculars either, just so they can fall apart after a few uses.

When you’re looking for a good piece of optics for hunting or birding within a budget, getting a good deal online becomes tough.

Nothing beats research for finding great value, and luckily, we’ve done this homework for you. After weeks of research, we’ve selected the 7 best binoculars under $300 for you to invest your hard-earned money on.

7 Best Binoculars Under $300

Here are our picks for the perfect binoculars within budget. Have a look!

A Quick Comparison (updated in 2022)

 

 

1. Vanguard 10×42 Endeavor ED Binoculars

It’s been almost 25 years of Vanguard, and in the last few years, it has made a name in the binocular industry. With its own manufacturing industry in China, Vanguard can keep the price down while maintaining top quality.

Design and Build Quality

The Vanguard Endeavor ED binocular series offers an ergonomic design with open-bridge construction. This open-bridge body design makes the instrument easier to hold and control, especially while carrying it with one hand.

It is also armored overall the body with a soft and textured surface. This armoring is quite grippy and hand-friendly as well. The thick and tactile rubber covering helps ensure that the bino doesn’t slip from your hand. It also helps protect the Endeavor from usual knocks and bumps.

Interestingly, the focus knob also has a soft surface with a deeply grooved design. This, along with the rubbery surface, provides the right amount of resistance. It can take you through the entire focus range with only a three-quarter turn.

 

Optical Specifications

The Vanguard 10×42 Endeavor comes with fully multi-coated extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, which is generally used in lens elements on high-end optics. The ED glass reduces chromatic aberrations and increases light transmission.

Besides, it also features V-Max Silver, Anti-reflection, and P2 Phase coatings. As a result, you can experience near-perfect light reflection with crisper images. Especially, the AR coating on the glass interface increases the image quality tenfold due to sharper contrast.

As for the BAK-4 roof prism, it makes anyone valuing low weight and high optical quality love this item. This roof prism keeps the scattered light at bay and results in a very bright scene.

 

Protective Features

The Vanguard Endeavor is Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed. It means the binoculars are water and fog-proof. Any form of tiny dust particle can’t get inside due to this O-ring sealing.

 

Extra Features

You can view a high degree of magnification from this relatively compact device. It has a viewing angle wide enough to scan distant birds and wildlife.

The 16.5 mm eye relief also allows for a more comfortable view of the entire field, even if you’re wearing glasses.

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Pros

  • Full-color spectrum viewable due to ED glass
  • The open bridge design makes it more comfortable to use and hold
  • A wide 6.5° angle of view allows a lot of landscape
  • ED glass for less chromatic aberration

Cons

  • The minimum focus distance is 8.2 feet (2.5 m)

2. Carson 3D ED 10×42 Binoculars

The type of binoculars you choose will affect your experience of birding or observing wildlife. So, you should think before buying about the uses of your binoculars.

The Carson 3D ED binoculars are a great all-around binocular for almost all sorts of jobs. Its 42mm objective lens with 10x magnification gives you amazing image quality all the time.

 

Design and Build Quality

Unlike the current trend, the Carson 3D has a single bridge design with a roof prism. It has an average size which would be comfortable to hold for those with average-sized hands.

And like most other binoculars, this one is also covered with hard rubber armoring. The reason behind this general format is to protect the binoculars from bumps and knocks. Rubberized armor tends to absorb most of the shock.

It also makes the device less reflective and dampens any sound from the barrel.

The Central focusing wheel is also easy to reach and turn without having to adjust too much. Constructed with hard plastic, this wheel also has a coating of soft rubber with some large grooves. Due to its 33mm diameter, you can move it easily without any resistance.

 

Optical Specifications

The Carson 3D device comes with ED glass with extra-low dispersion technology. This low dispersion glass gives a multi-element objective lens with a wider range of options. It also minimizes chromatic aberrations.

In addition, the phase correcting prisms bring better contrast to the image by improving resolution and color fidelity. If you’re a nature watcher, the Carson 3D is the best choice. Besides, its ability to capture details also makes it ideal for hikers.

The binocular also features BAK-4 glass for better light transmission and image quality. These dielectric coated prisms create excellent images.

 

Protective Features

The Carson 3D ED O-ring is sealed, making it fully waterproof. It also protects the device from any moisture, tiny dust particles, etc.

Nitrogen gas has been filled inside the binoculars to prevent the glass from fogging up during humid conditions. This also protects the inner workings from corrosion.

 

Extra Features

The eye relief is extra-long to enable glass wearers to use the device without removing the glass. It also helps you get a clear field of view.

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Pros

  • Crystal clear images during both night and day
  • Waterproof body and weather-resistant
  • Suitable for all weather conditions
  • Comfortable for glass wearers

Cons

  • Not totally suitable for children with small hands

3. VANGUARD 10×50 Spirit ED Binocular

This is our second item from Vanguard. It is common knowledge among binocular enthusiasts that this brand has earned its reputation for producing quality binoculars with innovative features and functionality. Their Spirit ED series doesn’t disappoint at this.

 

Design and Build Quality

The Vanguard Spirit ED comes with a lightweight and comfortable body design. It is covered with slip-resistant textured rubber armor that helps the optics to deliver reliable performance in all weather conditions.

Textured rubber is also applied to the center focus wheel. It comes in handy while adjusting the focus by wearing gloves if you have sweaty hands.

 

Optical Specifications

Like any top-range binocular, the Vanguard Spirit ED also features premium low-dispersion ED glass. Also known as High Density (HD) glass, they reduce the amount of chromatic aberration in the image. As a result, you get sharp and clear images all the way through.

When you view through the binoculars, you can notice some blurring at the edges. This can happen due to many reasons, but the criticism of them is this critical aberration. A good quality ED glass helps remove this aberration.

Vanguard also incorporated phase corrected BAK-4 prisms to complement the ED glass to render crisp details with enhanced contrast. Together, the resulting images are produced with sharp color resolution and contrast.

 

Protective Features

The Vanguard Spirit binocular has been made with O-rings to make it waterproof. Besides, it is also filled with Nitrogen to equip it for most weather conditions.

 

Extra Features

This mid-range binocular has a close focus capability of 10-foot. As for the eye relief, it is 19mm with an immersive 56° apparent viewing angle.

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Pros

  • Extra low dispersion glass elements reduce color aberration
  • The center focus wheel comes with rubber-gripping ridges
  • Totally weatherproof sealing due to Nitrogen filling and O-ring sealed
  • Twist-up eyecups with click-stop positions

Cons

  • Aggressive focus makes a relatively shallow depth of field

4. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Binocular

Whether you’re birding, watching wildlife and landscape, or just scouting for the big game, a good pair of optics is a must. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD can be one of those pairs, perfect for whatever activity you want to do.

Design and Build Quality

Although it is a little unusual at this price, the Bushnell Legend Ultra is built on a magnesium chassis, as opposed to aluminum or polycarbonate like most other competitors.

Magnesium makes the chassis lightweight and provides a durable frame for the binoculars. That’s why most optical technicians prefer magnesium-built ones to aluminum.

Along with that, it also has a tough rubber exterior to provide it with protection. There is a center focusing system conveniently placed so that you don’t need to configure each eyepiece separately.

 

Optical Specifications

This Ultra HD binocular comes with impressive optic technology, including ultra-wideband coatings. It also features ED prime glass that provides sharp color for very high-quality images.

Compared to other binoculars at this price level, this Legend Ultra has an objective lens of 42mm and a magnification of 10x. So, you get a clear and precise view of the surroundings, both close and far away.

In addition, fluorite glass is the top-quality material for the optical lens, which is also super-premium. Together, all of these create the most outstanding images even in poor lighting conditions.

Such sharp and clear images with the best performance in all weather are perfect for birders and hunters.

 

Protective Features

A little rain shouldn’t be the reason upset the avid hikers and walkers and keep them indoors. If you own a binocular that isn’t put off with some rain or fog, you can set off with confidence.

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Binocular’s exceptional ED prime glass makes it guard against rain due to a water-repellant coating. So, you can use it in all weather conditions.

 

Extra Features

This unique Ultra HD binocular has an ultra-wide field of view with long eye relief. Besides, this Bushnell binocular also comes with a sturdy carrying case, neck strap, and a shoulder harness.

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Pros

  • Comes with its own harnessing package
  • All weather-friendly due to ED prime glass
  • Tough build material that lasts long
  • Sharp and crisp color under low light conditions as well

Cons

  • The eye relief could’ve been longer

 

5. Nikon 7549 MONARCH 7 10×42

This item from Nikon was designed to be used in all kinds of terrain. Be it one of your hunting excursions or just bird watching; Monarch 7 can handle them all like a pro.

Design and Build Quality

Built with solid construction material, the Nikon Monarch 7 also has an outer rubber layer which makes it usable in all terrains. Besides, it also makes the instrument comfortable to hold.

At the same time, the bino is light and easy to use even in the most humid conditions.

 

Optical Specifications

The image quality of this binocular stands out the most while you’re viewing it. This is the most important part of an optical system. The images it produces are crisp and bright with low chromatic aberration.

In addition, it has added extra-low dispersion ED glass for a more natural image. It also offers you unrivaled brightness.

Monarch’s smooth and fast focusing, along with the close focus capabilities, is a delight. The advanced coating on the lens and prisms increases the transmission of light.

Besides, so that you don’t experience any color fringing, the Monarch is also equipped with a roof prism with corrective coating. As such, you can experience an image almost similar to the human eye.

 

Protective Features

For extra protection, the binocular O-ring housing has been installed, and the inside is filled with nitrogen making the Monarch 7 entirely water, dust, and fog-resistant. The scratch-resistant lenses will not spoil your view either.

 

Extra Features

Its diopter is located on the right side, which is a bit stiff to move in the beginning. And the interpupillary distance adjustment is easy and comfortable.

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Pros

  • Impervious to fogging and water-resistant
  • Very wide field of view
  • Almost lifelike image quality
  • The rubber eyecups are comfortable

Cons

  • The eye relief is short

6. Celestron 71370 8×42 Granite Binocular

Representing the core values of rock-solid binocular design, this ultra-high performance optical instrument from Celestron comes at an affordable price. Although quite affordable, Celestron Granites are expected to perform at the highest level.

 

Design and Build Quality

Constructed with magnesium with a state-of-the-art open-frame design, the Celestron Granite provides you with an excellent grip. With a lighter weight and excellent grip, it is also comfortable to handle. Its shallow thumb grooves increase the comfort of the grip as well.

Covered with a smooth matte black rubber coating, this binocular is also free of any texturing. The magnesium built makes the binocular rugged and tough for handling in any environment. It is also perfect for travel.

 

Optical Specifications

The Celestron 71370 Granite binocular is made with high-density and extra-low dispersion (ED) glass. This provides a better performance enhancement compared to regular glasses.

Besides, the ED glass also delivers edge-to-edge sharpness in the image with excellent color correction. It ensures that each wavelength is kept in balance with all others. These lenses are useful in low-light situations as well.

The fully broadband multi-coating optical design also offers crisp and razor-sharp images.

In addition, the phase-coated prisms correct light rays, ensuring a high-contrast image with accurate color rendition. The BAK-4 prism glass also ensures a sharper image and natural color fidelity.

If you look through it, you’ll find a sharp and bright image with a large sweet spot in the center.

 

Protective Features

The Granite 71370 has a waterproof construction which brings you peace of mind even during unexpected weather conditions. Its housing is dry Nitrogen filled, which prevents fogging in damp conditions. Besides, the binoculars are fully dustproof as well.

Extra Features

You’ll find with these binocular metal-twist-up eyecups which are more durable than plastic made ones. An eyecup corrects the positioning of the user’s eyes for comfortable viewing. Its action is smooth and precise. You can use the binoculars wearing your glasses due to these eyecups.

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Pros

  • Enhanced light transmission due to full multi-coating
  • Rugged magnesium build makes it very tough and durable
  • Precision BAK-4 roof prism provides enhanced clarity
  • Fast and accurate centered focusing wheel

Cons

  • Outside the sweet spot in the middle, there might be some softening

7. Zeiss Terra 10×42 ED 524206 Binoculars

When it comes to optics, hunting can become tricky since you’d want clarity and durability both at the same time. The Zeiss Terra 10×42 ED is an excellent choice in this situation due to its being totally weatherproof, rugged, and clear.

 

Design and Build Quality

Zeiss’s black 10×42 Terra ED is a robust, reliable, and easy to use piece made with a perfect and sleek design combined with SCHOTT ED glass elements. This compact weather-sealed housing is also lightweight without compromising its durability.

It also has an ergonomic grip to let you use it for hours without getting tired. Convenient to carry and fit into any bag, this binocular lasts for many years.

There is basic rubber armoring with a ridge along the upper side. This falls naturally on your palm where you bend the fingers, making it quite comfortable.

 

Optical Specifications

Zeiss Terra can be one of the best choices you can make for having a precise look at the details of an object. It creates a bright image with an outstanding resolution with comfortable viewing characteristics.

This roof prism binocular was built with Schmidt-Pechan prism assembly for the crispiest image quality. It is a space-saving design that makes the binocular compact and lightweight at the same time.

There are fully multi-coated SCHOTT ED glass lenses at its core that maximize the light transmission. It can manage up to 88% light transmission, which makes the image very bright.

In addition, the hydrophobic multicoating guarantees the highest optical precision with brilliant images to the very last detail. You don’t have to worry about chromatic aberrations either due to accurate color rendition without any fringing.

 

Protective Features

The Terra ED features Nitrogen-filled housing to provide you with fog-proof glass. It has also been tested to withstand approximately 3 ft. of submersion. This coupled with a broad operating temperature range, the binoculars can stand up to any outdoor situation.

 

Extra Features

The center focus wheel is textured and placed right in the middle of the two barrels. Your finger will automatically land on the focus wheel, and adjusting it is easy even with gloves on.

The twist-up rubber eyecups also enhance the overall ergonomics and stay in place no matter what.

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Pros

  • A closed bridge configuration creates balanced handling
  • Zeiss Hydrophobic Multicoated Optics provides a crisp and clear image
  • Totally weatherproof and up to 3 ft. submersible
  • Schott Extra Low-Dispersion (ED) glass corrects chromatic aberration

Cons

  • The rubber coating doesn’t provide enough shockproofing

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do the specs number on binoculars denote?

The numbers on the binoculars tell you their power and magnification. For example, when it is written ‘8×42,’ you can understand from this that the magnification power is 8 and 42 is the objective lens’s diameter in mm.

  • What is the difference between 8-power and 10-power binoculars?

An 8 powered diameter gives you a wider field of view, while a 10 powered one provides a more detailed and closer view.

  • What features are important to consider when shopping for binoculars?

The most important thing to consider is the image quality. Along with that, you should look for its durability, size, weight, and protection from the weather.

  • How can I keep my binoculars clean?

You can clean the binocular casing with a clean cloth easily. However, the lenses need additional care since they are very sensitive. You can use an ultra-soft brush or microfiber cloth to clean the lens.

 

Final Words

When it comes to getting the right pair of binoculars, you shouldn’t have to hunt high and low, and neither should you need to break the bank. In this article, you’ve seen the 7 best binoculars under $300. These are the best of what the optic world can offer you right now within budget.

Read Also:

Best Binoculars under $50

Best Binoculars under $100

Best Binoculars Under $200

Best Binoculars under $500

Binoculars for Whale Watching

Categories
Birding

5 Best Binoculars Under $500

When you want optical perfection from a binocular, you must spend some bucks for that. No, we aren’t asking you to rob the bank but ask for the right tool for highly intricate outdoor activities. And they don’t come cheap.

You’re in the right place if you’ve got an eye for detail and want a certain level of precision with the sharpest details, even in low light conditions.

This article will discuss the 5 best binoculars under $500. This price is somewhere between the economy and the nose bleed section. We left no stone unturned for this buck to bring only the right tools to your disposal.

 

5 Best Binoculars Under $500

It is not surprising that the premium binoculars come from the most respected brands such as Nikon, Canon, Vortex, etc. Let’s check them out.

  1. Nikon Monarch 7 8×42

Our first item comes from Nikon, made explicitly for bird watching. Its finest and cutting-edge optical quality ensures that it meets all precision requirements in the wild.

Design and Build Quality

The monarch 7 is solidly built with rugged construction that has precise control. Its good ergonomics make it easy to hold steady. There is rubberized polycarbonate armor reinforced with fiberglass. This keeps the weight of the instrument down and makes it strong. Besides, the center focus is also conveniently placed.

Optical Specifications

Firstly, these 8×42 binoculars feature premium extra-low dispersion (ED) glasses that reduce chromatic aberration. Perfect for hunters, it brings you detailed and faithful color rendition with sharper images. Its multi-layered optical coatings make the image very bright as well.

Nikon’s advanced proprietary dielectric multilayer prism coatings produce impeccable color and contrast. This coating is dielectric and has phase correcting features. It enhances the image quality by optimizing the light transmission and enhancing the color.

In addition, you also get 8x magnification that focuses up to 82 feet or 25m away. This is closer than most wildlife will let you get. Nothing is better for scanning the horizon than this.

Monarch 7 also uses a roof prism that keeps the unit light and fairly compact. Usually, roof prisms are reserved for high-end equipment.

Image Quality

Watching birds with these binoculars will make it feel like you’re standing next to them. The image you get comes with extreme clarity and brightness. It doesn’t matter even if it’s pre-dawn or twilight, and the Monarch 7 operates equally well in all conditions.

The first thing you’ll notice about this instrument is the wide FOV. The field of view is wide enough, perfect for sweeping a landscape for targets. You won’t need to spend frustrating moments searching for your target through this binocular.

Another important highlight of these bins is the low light performance. Its 42mm objectives and large 5.3mm exit pupil together soak up every available ray producing a brighter image. Even when the sun is almost set, you can have sharp contrasted images.

Other Features

Nikon Monarch 7 features eye relief that suits most glass wearers without having to mash the eye against the cup. Its ergonomic design can take on different weather conditions. This instrument is entirely fog proof and waterproof.

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Pros

  • Exceptional wide field of view
  • Accurate color reproduction with good contrast
  • Advanced dielectric coatings
  • The ergonomic design makes it easy to hand in any weather conditions
  • Generous eye relief provides good comfort

Cons

  • The added accessories are a disappointment

 

  1. Vortex Optics VPR-4208 8×42

The Vortex VPR-4204 comes packed with everything you need from a binocular and nothing you don’t. Any feature that you require for a successful hunt is in this instrument. Suitable for general sightseeing, hunting, or birding, the VPR is all you’ll need.

Quite light to hold on to, you’ll feel comfortable with this piece in your hands. It will provide you with exceptional image quality and overall performance.

Design and Build Quality

The VPR-4208 is a rare kind of Goldilocks binocular that is neither too small nor too big. Instead, it occupies just the right spot in your hands. Its polycarbonate construction provides two advantages. One, it has a lightweight body. And two, this material can dampen vibration in case it falls.

One of the lightest full binoculars to date, the Vortex VPR features robust external protection. Its non-slip grip makes sure you can comfortably hold it no matter how wet it gets.

Its central focusing wheel is very smooth and precise. It allows you to adjust the focus on both lenses simultaneously.

Optical Specifications

The VPR-4208 uses higher classes of glass which Vortex calls HD. Unlike ED or Extra-Low Dispersion glasses, these HD glasses provide better light transmission, impressive resolution, and low light performance.

In addition to this, VPR also uses fully multi-coated lenses that provide bright and crisp details with impressive color fidelity.

This item also uses BAK-4 prisms with added phase correction coatings, as you’d expect for any good roof prism binocular. The exterior lenses also have a scratch-resistant coating to help protect them from scratches or dirt.

Image Quality

The overall optical performance of this 8×42 VPR is awe-inspiring. It provides excellent light transmission due to the fully multi-coated lenses. The dielectric multilayer in the prisms also ensures accurate images with incredible contrast.

Vortex VPR allows you to observe any target with great detail, no matter how far.

Other Features

The VPR binos are high-performing fog and waterproof binoculars with a decent eye relief of 17mm. It uses argon gas to make the binocular fog-proof at any temperature. The O-ring sealed prevents any debris or moisture from entering the barrels.

The ArmorTek coating on the lenses makes them resistant to scratches from dirt or oil.

Speaking of the barrel, there is a lockable diopter on the right that can adjust the difference in your eyes. The binocular is also a tripod and window mount adaptable.

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Pros

  • Exceptionally crisp and vivid images due to HD glasses
  • Totally scratch resistant for the ArmorTek coating
  • Very comfortable for glass wearers
  • VPR is one of the lightest full binoculars to date

Cons

  • The eyecups are pretty stiff on some items

 

  1. Carson 3D TD-050ED

Designed to be the ideal binocular for any outdoor lover, the 3D TD-050ED is a flagship product from Carson. If you’re an avid bird lover, this is your product.

Design and Build Quality

Carson has used a traditional solid single bridge design on this roof prism binocular. Although they haven’t started the construction material of its frame, the item is very light and feels sturdy. This pair of optics feels like a quality instrument with a solid and robust build.

It has been covered with hard rubber armoring to protect itself from scratches and shakes. The size is also comfortable enough to grip tightly. Its ergonomic design has placed the thumb grooves just in the right spot.

Optical Specifications

The 10x50mm High-Definition binocular is a part of Carson’s 3D/ED series line that combines dielectric prism coating with ED glass.

You get the brightest and clearest image through this ED glass, reducing chromatic aberration. This aberration presents itself as color fringes around the viewing subject. So, you get a clear outlook of your subject through the binoculars.

The dielectric prism improves the light transmission and provides high contrast images with accurate color representation.

Moreover, the extra-low dispersion ED glass also combines BAK-4 prisms to transmit bright images with great detail. This phase correction prism also helps reduce the color fringing.

Image Quality

Sometimes you find yourself in situations where good light gathering capability becomes very important, especially in thickly wooded forest areas or during dawn or sunset. This is the time when birds and other animals become most active.

The Carson 3D TD-050ED with a good-sized exit pupil does great even during low light conditions. In addition, the ED glass minimizes chromatic aberration making the image much clearer.

You won’t even find any amount of softening of the image at the edge of the view, even if you look closely. This means the image remains sharp, which is very impressive.

Other Features

The rubberized coating absorbs much of the shock resulting from falling. Besides, it keeps the binoculars safe in the hands due to its strong grip.

It has been sealed with an O-ring and nitrogen-filled. So, there is no chance of fog developing inside. Besides, it is waterproof as well.

The eye relief is extra-long with twist-down eyecups. So, this 3D/ED binocular is perfect for eyeglass wearers too.

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Pros

  • Maximum light transmission due to ED glass
  • Phase correction coatings render sharp and detailed images
  • Reduced glare due to anti-reflection coating
  • Perfectly located thumb groove and large center focusing wheel

Cons

  • The field of view could’ve been wider

 

  1. Canon 8×25 Image Stabilization Binocular

This is a unique binocular on our list. The Image Stabilization (IS) binoculars can reduce or eliminate any shakes in the view with just a button. You don’t even need a tripod or any other support to view a faraway object with these binoculars.

Canon brings this excellent 8×25 IS binocular with outstanding optical performance and stabilization capabilities.

Design and Build Quality

The Canon 8×25 Image Stabilization binocular can be best described as the “Ultra Compact” binocular. It has a width dimension of 12 cm and weighs only 490g. You can easily say this is the lightest in-range Canon IS set available today.

This compact bino can be carried easily in a small bag or a pocket. Powered by a CR123A lithium battery that provides up to 6 hours of continuous usage, this IS binocular is ideal for trips, plays, concerts, and a wide variety of sports spectators.

It is also equipped with rubber coating at a crucial point to ease the grips and make it non-slip. This armoring also protects the bino from impacts or bumps.

Optical Specifications

As for the optics, this superb binocular uses a Porro prism and has a 13.5 mm exit pupil. You can also adjust the distance between those pupils between 56-72 mm.

While compact enough for little hands, this binocular offers a relatively wide field of view for curious eyes and minds, 115m at a distance of 1000m.

Image Quality

The vision from this binocular is very stable as well as comfortable. Able to zoom eight times the original size, this binocular can show you vivid images no matter the distance.

When it comes to image stabilization, it is done through the combination of motion sensors and a vari-angle prism. This combination effectively counteracts the motions caused by your hands while holding the binocular without a tripod.

Moreover, its lenses feature Super Spectra coating to deliver an intense image with high contrast and accurate color rendition. You won’t find any unwanted internal reflections to cause an optical veil.

For clear vision to the edges, this IS binoculars’ field flattening lens also creates a magnificent effect.

Other Features

You’ll find the IS button perfectly centrally placed. The soft-focus adjustment ring will also conveniently control at the fingertip. The +/- 3.0 diopter adjustment will also fit your vision perfectly.

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Pros

  • Most compact and lightest IS binocular
  • Image stabilizer system is highly effective
  • Continuous battery backup is over 6 hours
  • Super Spectra coating provides excellent sharpness and contrast

Cons

  • The binoculars aren’t gas-filled, which might cause a problem in harsh weather

 

  1. ATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Binoculars

One of the potent devices for observation during the nighttime is the night vision binoculars. The American Technology Network has been the industry leader in manufacturing night vision optics for many years. Their BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm binocular is a high-quality product despite being quite reasonably priced.

Design and Build Quality

Ergonomically designed with a rubberized grip, the BinoX-HD provides secure handling. Its grey color finish is soothing to the eye. If you want to have some elegant sophistication and good viewing, this ATN digital is a good choice.

Optical Specifications

This bino can perform as an excellent night vision camera with its 90mm optical lens system. The field of view is about 20-degrees with intense magnification and a crisp image.

Speaking of magnifying, the BinoX-HD also features a smooth zooming technology for ultra-slow zooming. With just a button press, you can be up close and personal with the object.

The ATN gives you an accurate and clear view of the environment, even in darkness, with multi-coated glass lenses. Its digital night vision lets you choose between white, green, or black options.

Image Quality

With the help of this night vision digital binocular, you can see brightened images by forming ambient light. This gives you a more extended range of viewing. You can control the brightness level manually as well.

Specially made for civilian use and hunting, the ATN BinoX provides you with a great view of the target while maintaining the same viewing angle. Besides, the built-in gyroscope keeps the image clear even during extreme circumstances.

Other Features

Apart from giving you night vision, this pair also records full HD views and lets you stream them through your iOS or Android device. It also can be connected to Wi-Fi to share your latest adventures.

If you lose your way during your adventure, it comes with a smart e-compass to help you navigate your target point.

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Pros

  • High-Tech digital HD binocular
  • The prominent feature is the night vision images
  • It also has wireless connectivity
  • Features gyroscope as well as e-compass
  • Built-In IR illuminator
  • Can record HD videos and photos

Cons

  • It is a bit heavy compared to the size

 

Buyers Guide for the Best Binoculars Under $500

The key to choosing the best binoculars is to look for the excellent specifications you need for your work and the brand name. Here are some of the most important things you need to consider before buying.

 

Lens or Glass Quality

What makes a binocular great hasn’t changed much over the years. It all comes down to the quality of the lens. With high-quality lens coatings, the quality of the glass can be improved drastically. Such glasses with coatings are named with non-standardized terms like ED, HD, UHD, etc.

The coating helps remove color aberration from the image and improves the light transmission. Fully multi-coated glasses can also bring better color contrast and prevent distortions.

 

Focusing

Although binoculars are made for looking at distant objects, some might want to look for things much closer. For that to happen, you’ll need minimum focus distance. This close or minimum focus is the distance between the nearest object you can focus on and the scope.

A High-end focusing system of binoculars enables you to adjust the focus within a specific range.

 

Field of View

When buying a binocular for long-distance viewing, you often have to compromise on the field of view to get higher magnification. But many bino users want a greater field of view and higher magnification. We’ll discuss magnification later.

Further, when you’re birding, you often have to look for them while they’re flying. This requires a wide expanse out the other end, not just a narrow strip of scenery. A larger field of view makes it easier to track and spot moving objects.

 

Magnification

Although you might want a high magnification with your binoculars, know that it also comes with some drawbacks.

One of them is that high magnification costs way more than usual, and the higher it gets, the binocular size will increase. You can’t use it without mounting it on a tripod.

The magnification of most consumer binoculars ranges from 7x to 18x, below which isn’t enough for most applications, and above, which becomes difficult to use.

 

Lens Diameter

It is the size of the lens furthest from your eyes when you look through the binoculars. The diameter of this lens impacts the field of vision you get. Bigger the lens, the more light it can capture. This will also give you a better-quality image.

A higher lens diameter will provide a sharper, brighter, and more accurate colored picture. The most common sizes for objective lens diameter are between 30mm to 60mm range.

 

Eye Relief

It is an important feature to have in a binocular wearing glasses. Because when you’re looking through the binoculars, your glasses keep your eyes further away from the spotting scope eyepiece.

Eye relief is the distance between the outer surface of the eyepiece lens and your eyeball. This means you’ll need a longer eye relief to see the entire field of view. 14 to 16mm eye relief is necessary for glass wearers in most cases.

 

Weather Resistance

When using the binoculars outdoors, you can’t know what the weather will be like. You can’t let the harsh weather ruin your experience of what you love at any cost.

Therefore, the best binoculars should provide good weatherproofing, such as water resistance, dust resistance, scratch resistance, etc., so you don’t have to worry about hazy images.

Also, the most common methods of weatherproofing binoculars are through O-ring sealing and nitrogen filling in the barrel.

 

Tripod Adaptability

The stability of the image becomes important when you zoom it. With higher magnification, the image becomes more unstable even with the slightest body movements like breathing, adjusting your footing, or even shifting the weight.

Therefore, any magnification over 15x requires that you mount the binocular on a tripod and hold it still.

 

Final Words

It doesn’t matter whether you’d want to spend over a thousand dollars on a single pair of binoculars for the perfect viewing experience. You can get almost the same experience for less than half of that sum with a bit of knowledge.

We’ve explained that you require the best binoculars under $500 and suggested some of the top choices according to our standards. I hope this article has given you a reasonably good idea about what you need.

Read Also:

Best Binoculars under $50

Best Binoculars under $100

Best Binoculars Under $200

Best Binoculars under $300

Binoculars for Whale Watching

Categories
Birding Blog

Falcon Vs. Hawk: Who Would Win

Birds of prey are fascinating creatures not only to birdwatchers but to anyone fortunate enough to lay eyes on them.

The air of elegance around these two birds is undeniable. And if you ever catch a glimpse of them through the lens of a binocular, you will surely appreciate their beauty.

However, if you are a casual birdwatcher, there is a good chance that you will not be able to differentiate between a Hawk and a Falcon. Since they share a lot of similarities, it takes a seasoned pair of eyes and some general idea before you can notice the difference.

Are you planning to get into the hobby and spot these birds yourself? Well, you came to the right place. In this article, we will make a head-to-head comparison between Falcon vs. Hawk to help you understand the key differences between the two raptors.

Brief Overview of a Hawk

The name hawk is given to two different categories of raptors. First, you have the forest hawks, which originate from the Accipiters family, and second, the open country hawks come from the Buteos family. Despite the two classes, they share some common traits that define them.

For instance, all hawks have broad wings. Their more enormous wingspan allows them to soar high up in the sky and glide large distances. In terms of body size, they are moderately large. Their talons are pretty long and sharp. In addition, they have a significantly enhanced vision that lets them spot prey from 100 feet away.

Unlike most animals, hawks are not color blind. They can differentiate between different colors. They are also daytime hunters and sleep during the night.

Nowadays, you can find over 270 different species of Hawk in various parts of the world. Although you can find the most species of Hawk in northern and central America, a select few species can also be found in the West Indies and Jamaica.

The Most Notable of the Species Are:

  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Goshawk
  • Northern Harrier
  • Bat Hawk
  • Red-Shouldered Hawk
  • Sparrow Hawk

Brief Overview of a Falcon

Compared to a hawk, a falcon is much smaller in size. However, falcons are not to be trifled with when it comes to speed. In fact, it holds the record for the fastest flyer among all of the avian creatures, with a maximum speed of around 242 miles per hour.

The body shape of a falcon is also quite different compared to a hawk. Compared to the broad wingspan of a hawk, the wings of a falcon are pretty narrow. However, their wings are tapered and have pointed tips.

That, combined with the large tail of a falcon, allows it to navigate and maneuver freely at high speeds.

Due to their high flight speeds, they can catch up to their prey quite easily. Similar to hawks, falcons also have excellent vision.

They are deadly predators and can kill their targets almost instantly and carry them off with their beaks. As you may already have guessed, their beaks are pretty sharp and pointed.

Falcons have a bit wider habitat compared to hawks too. You can find some falcon species in different regions even though their species are not as diverse as that of a hawk. Generally, falcons can be categorized into 52 different species.

The most notable out of them are:

  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Gyrfalcon
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Lanner

Key Differences between a Falcon and a Hawk

Now that we have given you a basic idea of the two different birds, it is time to head a bit deeper. Keep in mind, though; there are many behavioral similarities between a Falcon and a Hawk, both predatory birds. Apart from physical differences, the differences in other sectors are pretty subtle.

That being said, here is a list of some key differences between the two birds of prey.

  1. Wingspan and Physical Attributes

The easiest way to notice the difference between a hawk and a falcon is to capture them with their wings outstretched. Their wingspans are entirely different, and it easily helps you understand the primary difference between the physique of the two birds of prey.

The wings of a hawk look more like fingers, while the outstretched wings of a falcon are pretty pointy. Because of the design, the flight style of the two birds also varies quite drastically. A hawk, for instance, typically glides across the sky, whereas falcons fly fast and maneuver mid-flight tightly.

  1. Habitat and Range

Falcons have around 52 different species, whereas a total of 270 species of hawks can be found around the world. Both falcons and hawks have adapted to human activities and are quite comfortable living in suburban settings. But there are still slight differences between where you can find falcons and hawks.

When it comes to falcons, you can find five different species in the eastern part of the USA. You can sometimes also spot an extra species that makes its way to the eastern part by accident. In the western part of the country, you can find five other species of the same bird.

You can find Falcons flying in a wide range of habitats including mountains, and forests. However, most of the time, you can spot them near grasslands.

Wetlands and sea coasts also see their fair share of falcon activities. As you can see, they can adapt well to almost any environment.

However, falcons typically do not roam around suburban settings. That is where hawks truly stand out. Though hawks can be found in deep forests and open country regions, they can also be spotted regularly near suburban environments.

  1. Hunting Habits and Flight

The hunting habits of a falcon and a hawk are pretty different. One of the main features you can spot right away isto catch one of these birds in the middle of their hunting dive. However, catching a glimpse of these birds at this time is quite tricky.

Simply put, falcons hunt with their beaks while hawks use their talons or claws. You can notice a notch on the beaks of a falcon. But the beak of a hawk is entirely smooth.

Both of these birds can swoop in for the kill extremely fast, but a falcon is slightly speedier compared to a hawk.

When it comes to flight speed and navigation, falcons have a greater edge. Because of their narrow and pointed wings, they can maneuver through shrubbery and wilderness and soar through the open air with maximum velocity. Their talons are used for capturing their prey, but they usually kill them with their beak by severing the backbone.

On the other hand, falcons glide smoothly across the sky, stalking their prey. They not only ground target but also sometimes feast on smaller birds. Typically, they dive onto the prey and kill it using their beak or stun it using their feet before killing it.

  1. Prey Species

The two birds also share some similarities when it comes to their choice of food. Their preys are often interchangeable. Whatever differences there are in terms of prey species is mostly dependent on the type of habitat where the bird lives.

Both hawks and falcons can feast on mid-air birds and ground insects, and larger animals. Since both of these birds are carnivores, their diets are pretty similar. Typically, they prey upon birds, reptiles, small animals like rabbits and squirrels, and rodents.

  1. Color Patterns

Before you look too much into the color patterns, you need to understand that the color of each bird can vary quite drastically depending on the species you are looking at.

For instance, the Red-Tailed Hawk comes with a white chest and sometimes gets brown spots on their wings, backs, and heads despite the name. As these species of hawks get older, they develop a red tail.

Typically, most falcons favor a grey complexion, while most hawk families come with brown as their primary color.

Again, this can vary depending on which species you are scouting. But if you have nothing else to go on, this can give you a clue which bird you are looking at.

  1. Interaction with Human

The idea of using birds of prey for hunting is not exactly new—the first instances of using falcons or hawks for hunting animal dates back to 1300 BC.

But which of the two birds are more adept at it? Both can serve you well, but it also depends on the bird species to some degree.

Typically, many falcon species can be domesticated and used for hunting perfectly if the trainer knows what theyare doing. Since the bird is quite intelligent, it catches on to training quite fast.

However, it mostly goes after songbirds, which can be a nuisance if you use it for hunting for food.

Hawks also can work quite well. But not every species of hawks is up to the task. But the good news here is that you can also tame and domesticate smaller hawks.

However, using a larger hawk for hunting or keeping it as a pet is usually not possible. It can be perilous, especially if you do not know what you are doing.

Hawk vs. Falcon: How to Identify Easily

Although hawks and falcons are two entirely different birds of prey, it can be hard to distinguish between them at first glance. If you are getting into the hobby of birdwatching, then the following three tips will help you identify it right away.

  1. The Head

There is a subtle difference between the shape of the head of the two birds that can help you identify it.

However, it is most useful when you look at the head from an indirect angle. Looking at it from a straight angle might not help you identify the difference that easily.

Typically, there is a slight notch above the beak in the head of a falcon. It allows them to catch their prey easily with their beak. However, hawks do not have this notch since they hunt using their talons.

 

  1. Wing Shape

Looking at the wing’s shape and size is also a great way to identify whether it is a hawk or a falcon.

Falcons usually come with narrow wings with pointed ends. In comparison, the wings of a hawk are wider. The ends of a hawk’s wings are also rounder compared to that of a falcon.

Furthermore, if you look at larger hawks, their wings resemble fingers with parted feathers at the ends. This enables them to maneuver with extreme precision and turn in any direction quickly while flying.

  1. Flight Pattern

What if you catch one of these birds through your binoculars mid-flight? Well, analyzing its flight path is another excellent way to identify what you are looking at.

However, this means that you want to follow the movement of the bird closely, at least for a couple of seconds.

With falcons, you will see the bird flapping its wings quite frequently and rapidly. On the other hand, hawks typically glide over longer distances and flap their wings only after covering certain distances. Typically, falcons are also much faster than hawks.

Final Thoughts

At first glance, it might seem that the difference between a hawk and a falcon is exceptionally subtle.

However, veteran birdwatchers will be able to tell what they are looking at almost immediately without any effort. The reason behind it is that they know what they arelooking for.

Our guide on Falcon vs. Hawk should help you understand the key differences between the two birds. After some practice, you will be able to figure out which bird you are looking at without too much trouble. This would make your next birdwatching trip even more exciting and memorable.

Read Also: 

Junco vs. Chickadee

Raven vs. Crow

Falcon vs Eagle

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