85 BIRD WATCHER’S DIGEST • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER ’ 17 • birdwatchersdigest.com
they’re expensive, but no more
so than a high-quality spotting
scope, and the image is stellar.
If your binocular is more than
20 years old, you are cheating
yourself every time you look at
a bird. Yes, optical performance
has improved that much.
I’m talking to you, Zeiss
10x40 classic users. Your instrument might be built to last a lifetime, but compared with the new
top-of-the-line models, that old
classic is a trilobite. As your eyes
have gotten older, your glass has
grown less forgiving.
Having trouble finding birds
in woodlands? Unable to follow a
bird in flight without microman-
aging the focus? Time for new
binoculars. Give your old classics
to some eager young birder with
nimble and facile eyes.
But if what you truly need is an
instrument to study distant waterfowl, perched raptors or feeding
shorebirds, and distant seabirds
from shore, then by all means buy
a spotting scope. It’s the challenge
these devices were made for. And
don’t skimp on the tripod. It’s
the foundation that makes higher
magnification work. a
Pete Dunne is Ambassador for
Birding for New Jersey Audubon
and author of Pete Dunne on Birding, The Art of Bird Identification,
The Art of Bird Finding, and Pete
Dunne on Bird Watching.