relatively inexpensive and they will provide
you with a lifetime of enjoyment. For less than a price of the average
university textbook, you can purcahse equipment that will make you
happy for decades! Binoculars will be an important tool for this course
during our birding trips, including walking trips to the Detroit River,
our lab trips to Objiway Prairie Conservation Preserve,
and our weekend trip to Holiday Beach and Point Pelee. Note
that you are not required to purchase binoculars for this course, but
it is highly recommended.
I will make a special announcement about a binocular deal
class on the first day of classes!
Where to buy binoculars:
There are many places to buy binoculars (see a brief list below). The
prices on binocluars can often be found online. Eagle Optics
is a very reputable
company which sells both their own brand of binoculars (which come with
a completely amazing lifetime warranty) as well as most other brands of
Before you buy,
many people think it is a good idea
to try out
several different pairs and find out which pair "feels" the best in
your hands. We have one of Canada's best retailers for
binoculars, Pelee Wings Nature
, within easy driving distance en route to Point Pelee. To get
their best prices, ask to speak to the owner, Michael, and tell him
that you are a student of ornithology at the University of Windsor.
What to look for in
When browsing for binoculars you will see two
example 7x42 or
8X50. The first number refers to the magnification power of the
binoculars: A pair of 7x42 binoculars will magnify images 7
times and a pair of 8x50 binoculars will magnify images 8 times.
The second number is the width of the objective lens: a larger
lens will let in more light and make birds easier to see. You can learn
all about binoculars at Cornell University's "All About Birds
binoculars with less than 7 times magnification or more than 10 times
magnification. The most common choice
may be 8
times magnification, but 7 times or 9 times or 10 times magnification
Avoid "auto-focus" binoculars.
It is important for you to be able to focus the binoculars using a
focus knob. So called "auto-focus" binoculars provide you with very
little control over your ability to see things.
Note that the least expensive binoculars (sometimes called "pocket
binoculars"), which can often be purchased for as little as $30 or $40,
are a waste of your money. They will be frustrating when you are
learining to watch birds, and the won't last long. For a little
bit more money, you can buy
"compact binoculars" which may cost between $50 and $100, which will
likely last you for longer, although they won't likely survive getting
wet. For just a little bit
more money (if you are willing to spend $100) you can purchase
waterproof binoculars, which could last you a lifetime. The great thing
about waterproof binoculars is that yo don't have to worry if it rains
on them, and they will allow you to go birdwatching anywhere in the
world, including the steamy tropics.
Possible places to shop for