Bird watching has been around for more years than most can remember. The excitement and intrigue of finally laying eyes upon a species one have never seen before helps make this a very special hobby. All hobbies seem “infinitely expandable,” and bird watching is no exception to that rule. While it is true that you can simply head out to the woods and start looking around, you will actually be missing some of the best parts of this hobby. Being prepared is the focus of any bird watcher. Without some minor or major preparation, you can inadvertently miss what you went out to find in the first place.
One of the most important tools for any bird watcher is a quality pair of binoculars that are properly suited to your style. The first thing to know is that there are specific binoculars for people who wear glasses. This is a newer innovation and is taking the bird watching world by storm, to be honest. In days past the people with glasses were required to use the standard binoculars, which was difficult because they did not fit well against the lenses. With the new deep relief lenses binoculars, there is no trouble at all for the person who wears glasses and they work well for those that do not wear glasses either. With the inset of the lenses on the eyepieces, it tends to be more comfortable for everyone and tends to cause less in the way of eyestrain.
You should also go with the quality binoculars no matter what the circumstance. The better the quality the longer the binoculars will last and the higher price will actually be cheaper in the end as you will not have to spend money on replacements. It is better to spend one hundred dollars once they have to spend twenty dollars ten times when the cheaper, lesser quality binoculars break on you.
A good field guide is also an important tool. The guide to identifying birds that you choose should be easy to use and comprehensive, to say the least. Experts do not recommend buying the complete United States guide for every trip. These guides will be too much information and you will spend more time flipping through the pages then you will see the birds. There are guides that are region specific and will be of much more value then the full US guide will be.
Lastly, you should have a quality camera, and it is recommended that it be a digital camera. Digital is the best thing to happen to photography in a long time. No more do you have to wait to see the pictures, just take the camera home and plug it into the computer and away you go. There is much more range with the digital camera. A shot that may not have turned out right can be worked with to make suitable, something that is impossible with the film versions. The digital camera will capture all the moments and make the trip all worthwhile.