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Birding Binocular


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Birding binocular describes optics desired by those who enjoy the adventure of birding and the joy of observing nature. Those of us who yearn to get out into nature regardless of the season for the chance of seeing new arrivals into the area or resident but colorful, intriguing species would be ill prepared were it not for the equipment we carry.

Birding is an activity that requires very little in equipment. Fundamentals include a field guide and a binocular. That's it. However, do not think cheaply when it comes to binoculars. It is the opinion of this author that one should consider investing in a very good pair of binoculars in order to ensure years of enjoyment and facilitate identification of the bird in question.

Let's face it, the difference between a Northern Oriole and an Orchard Oriole is substantial. However, the difference between a Spotted Sandpiper and a Solitary Sandpiper are less obvious. The difference between a Rose Breasted Grosbeak and a Blue Grosbeak is also substantial. Yet, the difference between a Summer Tanager and a Hepatic Tanager is not so easily determined. It is those situations where very similarly looking species overlap in territory that one really appreciates the better optics associated with a very good pair of binoculars.

The Vortex Viper is an exemplary representative of the modern trend in binoculars. It is of the roof prism design, making it more ergonomic-more easily held for longer views of the bird you are trying to identify. The roof prism design allows for internal focusing which facilitates water and fog proofing. These are nitrogen purged. Another outstanding feature is good eye relief-a must consideration for those who wear eyeglasses. Phase corrected, fully multicoated lenses provide for true colors and freedom from ghost images. The Viper is well crafted, rubber armored, solid, and well suited for rugged outdoor use. They provide a bright, well formed, distinctive image-exactly what is required when subtle field marks must be noticed. This binocular is mid-priced. The Vortex Viper has been awarded “Best of the Best" by Field & Stream.

Roy Smallwood is the owner of Roy began this enterprise after a 26 year career as a teacher of science. His love and enjoyment of the outdoors and birding in particular is the impetus for the company. He is an active member of the Central Texas Audubon Society. He encourages everyone to participate and enjoy birding whether in the backyard or in the field. Visit for, binoculars and happy birding!


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