Top products from r/birding

We found 49 product mentions on r/birding. We ranked the 144 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/birding:

u/kmoonster · 5 pointsr/birding

Welcome! The answer is yes, there is a dictionary and some equipment, but it's not as much as you might think. A book and even a basic pair of binoculars will take you most of the way. Bird feeders are optional: some people do feeders as their entire effort, other people don't do feeders at all. It's up to you.

While you can go out with just your eyes and/or ears, most people prefer to take binoculars, a camera, or a spotting scope [miniature telescope]. Most people also either take some sort of ID aid.

A low-end but usable pair of binoculars will run $25-100 depending on the size, most "decent" to "good" binoculars will run $100+, with really high-end pairs up to $2500; it just depends on how much you're willing to spend.

With binoculars there are a couple things to look for:

  • Style: all binoculars have a hinge and some sort of outer covering. A pair with a rubbery or plastic coating is ideal, though not required. The body may be narrower or wider, for general purposes the difference is aesthetic; there are differences but for your purposes they are not important. The hinge may be single or double; a double may have open space around the barrels, which is nice if you have bigger hands. Fiddle with the focus knob to make sure it is easy for you to reach and turn. Basically, make sure they are comfortable to hold and use.

  • Power: A scope or pair of binoculars will have two numbers, like this: (8x32), (10x50), (12x50), or some similar set of numbers.

    • The first number is magnification. An 8 power gives you an 8x view, a 10x gives you a view ten times closer, and so on. The bigger the magnification, the "more" image you will see, but the harder it is to keep the image stable for reasons of physics.

    • The second number measures the diameter of the larger lens [the one away from your eye]. A "32" means the larger lens is 32mm across. A "50" means your largest is 50mm. The bigger the number, the more light-gathering power you have. If you plan to be out in lower light situations, or if you want to use the binoculars for astronomy, you want the biggest number you can get here. If you mostly plan to be out during the day a smaller number is recommended. Keep in mind that the bigger your binoculars, the heavier and bulkier they are.

    • Brightness matters. If you divide the lens size by the power, you get a number that helps you figure your brightness. For example, 8x32 works out to "4". 8x25 works out to "3". And if you go with 10x50 you get "5". The larger the resulting number, the better/brighter your image in general.

    • Most people settle on 8x42 because it gives you a good brightness with a magnification number most people can hold steady. By no means is this required, though. There are a variety of options available, and the best binocular is the one that is [1] comfortable in your hands, and [2] produces a steady image.

    • Scopes have similar specs and considerations, but are obviously more like a telescope. Cameras are very different, if you decide to go into cameras there is a whole other ball of wax to consider.

      Bird ID.

      You can use a book, an app, or both. Any bookstore or bird-feeder store should have bird id books, usually called "field guides". They include pictures of the birds and short descriptions, along with a map showing areas of the country where they are usually found. You can also download a variety of apps that will do this. They organize birds by type, so all the ducks are together, all the sparrows are together, all the herons are together, all the hawks are together, etc. Some use photos, some use drawing or painting. Some are big, some are small. Some are national, some are local. The most recognized names to look for are:

  • National Geographic
  • Peterson
  • Sibley
  • Kauffman
  • Audubon
  • Smithsonian

  • Others: There a great many authors/compilers, look through whatever books your local store has available and find one that makes sense to you. As with binoculars, any book is useful, but the best one is the one you are most comfortable with. You can even get simple waterproof plastic folding "handout" type guides that only include the most common birds.

    If you prefer birds to be listed by color you need to look for the series by Stan Tekiela. The link is for his Colorado book, which is where I live, but he has books for every state.

    I would also recommend setting up an account at ebird, you can keep a checklist there along with all kinds of pictures, maps, and other useful stuff. The same people who run ebird also run All About Birds, and produce an app called Merlin. Merlin is free, and might be a good app to start with even if you eventually add others later.

    You might also google "birding + [home area]" as there are facebook groups in most areas, and there are often area specific websites. Here in Colorado, for example, we have both Colorado County Birding and the Colorado Birding Trail along with a variety of facebook groups, a google group, and a listserv. Your state/region likely has similar.

    I would also look up the Audubon chapter in your area. Some are more active than others; it is worth looking up your local unit to see if they are active in doing trips. Some areas may even have multiple active chapters.

    There may also be a bird or nature specific store in your area that does trips or other events. There are also a lot of birding festivals/events around the country at various times; many birders travel to them, but it is also ok to wait for one near you.
u/drink_your_tea · 4 pointsr/birding

The new Sibley guide is my favorite, hands-down.

Some also like the Nat Geo guide (6th edition) - great range maps, broken down by subspecies where relevant! - but the artwork is less consistently good, in my opinion.

Sibley's illustrations are clean, easy to navigate, intelligently laid out for maximum ease of comparison, and (frankly) beautiful. The second edition (=new) also has added life history information for many species.

I own both, but whenever prompted to recommend only one, it will always be Sibley. The first edition played a huge role in me getting into birding. :)

Happy birding!

^(edit: fixed grammatical error)

u/steve626 · 3 pointsr/birding

I'd recommend getting Kenn Kaufman's guide, it isn't huge and is good for comparing birds. There are some good apps out there too, if you'd rather bring a phone or tablet. I usually just use the Sibley app on my phone.
Binoculars are pretty important. I started with a pair of $50 ones from a sports store and they were junk. and then I got a pair of big Nikons for around a $100, and they were better, but too big. I finally have a pair of Eagle Optics Rangers, they are $300 and I really like them. But I've looked through a pair of $1000+ Swarovskis and wow, those are great, but not much better than mine. I have 10x42s, which I would recommend. But get these Atlas binoculars for $100. They are really nice, I bought my dad a pair for Christmas and they felt as good as my other pair, for a third of the price. They would treat you really good for a long time. Plus they are water and fog proof, important for Florida.

Crap, I just saw that those Atlas binoculars are out of stock, sorry.

u/6l17ch · 2 pointsr/birding

Here's my recommendations for a new birder starter kit:

  1. Binoculars: Nature DX 8x32 are solid and affordable.
    If you have the extra dough, the Vortex are a great step up from there.

  2. Field guide: People will have varying opinions but as a beginner, I found the Kaufman guide the easiest to learn with and use everyday. It doesn't provide as in-depth of detail as other guides but it is laid out in a way that makes it easy to approach an unknown ID as a novice, and highlights the most important distinguishing features to tell different birds apart.

  3. A good app: Merlin Bird ID is a fantastic app for quickly IDing birds on the go. It's free too! I use it everyday, along with eBird to log my sightings.

    Hope that helps and happy birding!!
u/Utari · 2 pointsr/birding

I just recently got into birding and wanted a cheap pair of binoculars for a trip I took to Panama. I ended up with these from amazon for just about 30 dollars. I am sure there are tons of issues with them that someone with more experience would notice, but they work great for me. Focusing is really easy and the clarity honestly seems nice. One problem I had in a humid climate was fogging, but once I was out in the field for about 15 minutes, the fogging actually went away.

I plan on upgrading soon, but I am glad I got this cheaper pair to make sure I would even enjoy the hobby.

u/JackTheStripper420 · 3 pointsr/birding

I would always reccommend an actual field guide over an app, they are just more useful, but apps can be a good complement. For field guides, Sibley just came out with his new guide, which is probably the best one you can get.

You could also try National Geographic or Peterson's Guides, they are good. Kaufman has a really good guide that is geared more towards beginners, but has as much info as a full-sized guide.

As for Apps, there is Sibley, National Geographic, Peterson's, and iBird PRO, all of which are decent and have bird songs on them, which is probably the best feature. Its mostly personal preference between these.

u/squirrelsonfilm · 3 pointsr/birding

Celestron Nature DX 8x42's

$139. Ok so $39 over, but I've been super impressed with these. Good value, easy to adjust, durable, portable, lightweight & compact.

Heavier, bigger bin's made me fidgety, ornery & exasperated to the point of not even using them. Stumbled on these & have been pretty happy with them. They were on backorder for entirely too long, but in hindsight, the wait was worth it.

u/sethben · 2 pointsr/birding

I'd recommend:

  1. One that has drainage holes on the bottom, and

  2. The part that holds the seeds is removable to make it easier to clean and refill without having to unstick and restick the suction cups every time. i.e. the whole thing should NOT be one solid piece.

    Also, the bigger the 'roof', the better for keeping the seed dry.

    I've had this one for ~5–6 years; it's still in good shape and I'm still happy with it. But any that meet the above requirements should be good.
u/woodencabinets · 1 pointr/birding

Stan Tekiela is an incredible write of bird books. I have the vermont one and it is the best, here is the Colorado Bird field guide he wrote, I imagine it’s pretty good. Good luck!

u/stfuirl · 1 pointr/birding

This was my first pair and honestly they are pretty great for the low price point. Magnification typically runs in 7x, 8x, 10x, and sometimes 12x, so these binoculars are on the lower end. However, I think this is a great thing for beginner birding because you can more easily get a bead on fast-moving birds. The paddle makes it easy to quickly focus, and for $30 you won't be devastated if something happened to them. I've actually taken these on bird walks and found that, with a little patience, you can keep up with the birders carrying $500+ binoculars just fine.

u/sotlite · 2 pointsr/birding

You really just need 2 pieces of equipment: a field guide (I like Sibley's) and a pair of binoculars (cheap is ok to start). Beyond that, I think it's mostly having the patience to develop the skills and knowledge base. Take the time to really look at birds. Get the common species under your belt - house sparrow, robin, cardinal (for the eastern US, at least). Once you know them well, you'll really notice when you see something new.

Birding with a buddy is a great help early on - a good birding pal will nudge you to notice the identifying features. Fat beak? Think finch. Small and yellow? Maybe a warbler. Speckled breast? Think thrush.

u/nocturnalstumblebutt · 1 pointr/birding

I've been really digging this life list diary by Sibley..

I was using BirdJournal app to record sightings for a while but ended up liking a physical journal more. I'll take a small pocket notebook and my camera out with me then record new birds in my life list journal later. So much fun. Welcome to the hobby!

u/SlightlyCrazyCatMom · 3 pointsr/birding

We recently bought

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition


National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, 2nd Edition: Now Covering More Than 1,000 Species With the Most-Detailed Information Found in a Single Volume

Off Amazon and I LOVE them! We opted for a Non-Amazon seller and we paid less than $5 each WITH shipping. I am very impressed with the layout, I have found it a pretty fast flip to find a species while looking at it.

u/basaltgranite · 1 pointr/birding

Most guides cover northern Asia generally. The Princeton guide, pretty good, too big to carry as a field guide IMHO. There's a photographic guide that's smaller. Surprised that a country that attracts many Western tourists lacks a good English solution. Hoping to find something there in Japanese but still useful.

u/onyxpup7 · 2 pointsr/birding

I used This One when I went to Italy last year. It uses illustrations and not pictures, but it’s an excellent book. If you scroll to the bottom of the listing some people posted pictures of the inside of the book.

Here is another that looks great but I don’t own it personally

u/justwannaboogie · 1 pointr/birding

Collins Bird Guide is definitely the best, most comprehensive field guide for Europe. If you just want UK however, the RSPB make some good field guides.

u/rantelope1 · 1 pointr/birding

thanks for that recommendation, I'll look it up! I definitely like the idea of not carrying extra things around with me; the only drawback would be using battery on your phone and not being able to make notes in the book. But I'm definitely going to consider that, I like packing light when I travel.

The only suggestion I can give is a bird book for North America, I really like the [National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America] (; this is the 7th edition, I have the sixth. A lot seems to be based on personal preference of bird organization and whether they use drawings or pictures, but I really like this one!

u/SixesandNines · 5 pointsr/birding

I would also recommend the sibley guide to birds of eastern North America. It's nicely laid out and it's a convenient size for carrying with you in the field.

As for binoculars, my first pair are these Nikon monarch 8x42:

I paid less than this, in the $230-240 range, on eBay I believe. You definitely don't want to discourage yourself with substandard optics, which can be unreliable or fatiguing. I've had this model for well over a year now and they continue to be a pleasure to use.

u/MisanthropicScott · 2 pointsr/birding

Hmm... If you're thinking globally, this is going to be hard. A simple checklist of all the bird species of the world is large enough to be a book, literally.

And, it's outdated at the time it's printed.

The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior might be what you're looking for, if North America is enough of the world. Embarrassingly, I own this and almost never look at it.

The Sibley Guide to the Birds of North America is a good desk reference field guide that has more information than most field guides (and is too big to carry around other than as an app on my cell phone, IMHO). I do own it both ways. The book is better, of course. But, I don't carry it as my field guide.

For more than that, you may want to pick a book narrowed down to a particular family of birds, if she has any favorites like raptors or woodpeckers.

Hope you find what you're looking for.

u/they_are_out_there · 2 pointsr/birding

I meant to link this earlier. The The Sibley Birder's Life List and Field Diary is a really nice one and pretty popular.

You can search for different ones though, with lots of cool colors and illustrations.


u/bghenson23 · 3 pointsr/birding

Go on some group walks ( and meet some other birders - they'll have some thoughts on places to visit and can tell you about other local resources.

Woodend has some great classes for example.

Ditto what LigoRider says - As for guides to birds, having a good field guide is key (iBird pro is good for an app, but book can be handy too). Sibley is the generally recommended book.

For learning, I think specific guides can be helpful. For example:

u/Kaeleira · 2 pointsr/birding

For field guides the more generalized ones are usually easier to get a hold of. A few you could look at are from National Geographic, Peterson, and Sibley. There are also some books for getting started, such as Sibley's Birding Basics. Backyard Bird guides are also a good place to start.

For North Dakota specifically I found this great pdf that covers all the basics of bird watching, and this field guide. Hope this helps!

u/Bubo_scandiacus · 1 pointr/birding

I recommend the Celestron Nature DX 8x42. They're only $140 (price has dropped a lot) but they're very high quality. They're multi-coated and waterproof / nitrogen-filled for anti-fog. It's the best bang for your buck, imo.

Also, this webpage has some good tips for the beginning birder near the end; especially check out the diopter tip for binoculars.

u/madgraf · 4 pointsr/birding

I prefer Kaufman's field guide for carrying with me while I'm birding. It's well organized and has a lot of great info/illustrations:

At home, I like to use Sibley's book (which is far too large to carry with as a field guide). It has even more illustrations and is a bit more in depth than Kaufman's field guide due to its size:

u/Spectre_of_Mendinor · 1 pointr/birding

Hawks in Flight by David Sibley. It's not a bird identification guide, but it's fantastic at teaching you about how to identify hawks (without pictures!).

u/V_Codwheel · 2 pointsr/birding

There's Birds of Europe from Princeton, which is pretty good.

u/hesperaloe · 1 pointr/birding

Is this the edition that includes both the Eastern and Western books?
The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition

u/pelicanbreath · 5 pointsr/birding

I live in the state of Oaxaca and this book has been doing the trick for me: