7 Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Beginners

Spending time in the great outdoors offers a spectacular way to see all that nature has to offer. Binoculars make a handy companion for such excursions so if you are looking for the best binoculars for bird watching beginners, this guide is for you.

Birds are one of Mother Nature’s exquisite species. These flying beauties are worth watching when you are outside exploring the great outdoors or in your backyard relaxing. They come in different species and colors and the best way to spot them is by using binoculars.

Today, there optics market is flooded with binoculars from so many brands. Each model comes with a unique array of features that make it stand out. Besides, the quality and performance vary depending on the type of activity the binocular is ideally suited for.

When looking for a quality model for birdwatching, there are numerous technical aspects you should be familiar with, irrespective of whether you are buying your first pair or looking for an upgrade. They include magnification, close focus distance, focus mechanism, and eye relief. These are the aspects that make quality binoculars stand out from cheap models.

What Makes a Great Pair of Binoculars for Bird Watching?

Several attributes make a great binocular for bird watching. These attributes include:

Quality Optics

Firstly, the binoculars should have quality optics that provide bright and clear views of the birds.

Premium Lens Coatings

Furthermore, the lenses should have premium lens coatings that fight glare and maximize light transmission.

Lightweight Construction

The best binoculars for bird watching beginners should have a lightweight but durable construction. This is vital as it ensures functional handling with one or both hands.

Tripod Mountable

A pair of binoculars that is tripod mountable is important. When you mount it on the tripod, you take the weight off your hands and enjoy stable hand-free viewing all through.

Weather Protection

It is also important for the binoculars to have dependable protection from weather elements. It should be fully waterproof, dustproof, and fog-proof as well.

Long Eye Relief

Last but not least, a great binocular for bird watching needs to have an eye relief that is long enough to ensure a snug optical experience. This is irrespective of whether you put on eyeglasses or not.

Why Binoculars for Bird Watching Beginners?

As a beginner in birding, binoculars are an excellent option due to their ease of use. They provide a straightforward and satisfying experience of the birds in their different habitats. Furthermore, binoculars are recommended for birdwatching beginners for the following reasons:


The best binoculars for bird watching beginners are compact, lightweight, and portable. They are convenient to carry wherever you go and easy to hold and use with one or both hands.


Moreover, binoculars are more affordable compared to other optical equipment like spotting scopes are telescopes. So even if you are on a tight budget, you can find a quality pair that fits your budget with ease.

Quick Target Finding

Binoculars provide a wide field of view. This enables quick target finding in any environment. The immediate gratification goes a long way to encourage birding beginners to stick to the activity.


Another benefit of binoculars is multifunctionality. A single pair of binoculars can be used for a plethora of outdoor excursions from bird watching to hunting to hiking and camping.

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Beginners – Top Picks

Let’s now delve into the best binoculars for bird watching that are ideal for beginners.

1) Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars – Best Overall

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Beginners



Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars are hands down the best binoculars for bird watching beginners. They are compact in size and ultra-lightweight. This makes them easy to use and carry around without fatigue.

The optical features of this pair of binoculars are outstanding. Firstly, it has phase-corrected baK-4 prisms that render enhanced image clarity and color accuracy. Moreover, this set of binoculars has fully multi-coated optics that ensure high levels of light transmission.

Another impressive thing about the binocular is its field of view. It has a large field of view that aids in quick finding of the birds. What’s more, it comes with an incredible 6.5’ minimum focus distance to complement the 8x magnification and provide a user-friendly glassing experience.

In terms of construction, the binocular has a polycarbonate housing built to withstand repeated use. The housing is nitrogen-filled and sealed to lock out dust, moisture, and fog. Other than that, it brings to the table a center focus wheel and twist-up eyecups with multiple position stops.


  • Polycarbonate construction
  • 8x magnification
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • BaK-4 roof prisms
  • Center focus wheel
  • Twist-up rubber eyecups
  • Waterproof and nitrogen-filled
  • Closed-bridge configuration
  • 5’ close focusing distance


  • Fast and simplified focus adjustment
  • Sufficient eye relief
  • Impressively bright, sharp, and color-rich sight pictures
  • Affordable


  • Stability issues

2) Nikon ProStaff P3 8×42 Binoculars – Best Compact

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Beginners



Nikon ProStaff P3 8×42 Binoculars are an excellent choice for beginners due to their ease of use. These binoculars have an intuitive design and a large center focus knob for an easy focus adjustment.

The 8x magnification is perfect for bird watching in dense timber or open fields. It shows you the details of the birds at a distance and is easy to hold stable during use. What’s more, the binocular has a wide field of view to help you broaden the horizon and quickly find the birds you need to see.

Construction-wise, the ProStaff P3 8×42 Binoculars feature a lightweight body made from strong fiberglass reinforced by polycarbonate resin. It also comes with green rubber armor which provides a non-slip grip and extra protection from the occasional drop or bump.

To top off everything else, this pair of binoculars incorporates superior optics and high-quality lens coatings for a phenomenal viewing experience.


  • Waterproof and submersible to 3.3’
  • Multi-layer lens coatings
  • Eco-friendly lead-free glass
  • Turn and slide rubber eyecups
  • Tough-skinned rubber armor
  • Fiberglass chassis
  • Center focusing knob
  • Silver-coated roof prisms
  • Closed-bridge configuration


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Long eye relief
  • Superior portability
  • Easy to focus


  • Poor warranty

3) Birds of Prey Optics 10×42 Binoculars – Best Versatile

Birds of Prey Optics 1


Coming third in our list of the best binoculars for bird watching beginners is Birds of Prey Optics 10×42 Binoculars. With this pair of binoculars, you can embark on any adventure with confidence and clarity.

It is built to withstand various environments and live up to expectations. The waterproof construction ensures unimpeded use in all kinds of weather conditions. Moreover, the interior is fog-proof to provide the clearest views every time.

To complement the solid and rugged construction, this set of binoculars comes with a metal focus wheel. It enhances its durability and functionality by ensuring smooth focusing. Besides, the eyecups twist up to add extra functionality and comfortability to all users, with or without eyewear.

What’s more, this pair of binoculars has fully multi-coated optics that enhance optical clarity and low light performance. It is also made with BaK4 glass that maximizes image detail and sharpness.


  • Fully multi-coated ocular
  • 10x magnification
  • Metal focus wheel
  • Twist-up eyecup
  • Right eyepiece focus wheel
  • Fully waterproof and fog-proof
  • BaK4 prism
  • Durable rubber armor


  • Versatile
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to focus
  • Outstanding durability


  • Narrow field of view

4) Leica Ultravid HD-Plus Binocular 8x42mm – Best for the Money

Leica Ultravid HD-Plus



Next up we have the Leica Ultravid HD-Plus Binocular 8x42mm. This top-tier set of binoculars is packed with a plethora of sophisticated features in a small, portable body.

A defining feature of this binocular is image brightness and clarity. It is made with specially formulated SCHOTT HT glass responsible for increasing light transmission and maximizing image detail. Furthermore, the exterior lenses have a scratch and abrasion-resistant coating that is hydrophobic. It repels dust, dirt, moisture, and stains away to keep a the field of view clear in an environments.

The build quality of this binocular is as impressive as the optical performance. It is crafted with a lightweight magnesium alloy chassis, with a titanium center hinge axle. This guarantees many years of repeated use with minimal wear and tear.

Moreover, its optical tubes are sealed and filled with dry nitrogen to prevent fog buildup. The chassis also features protective rubber armor that provides additional shock protection while ensuring that you have a snug and slip-resistant grip.


  • Ergonomic thumb rests
  • Durable magnesium chassis
  • Hydrophobic lens coating
  • 8x magnification
  • High-temperature plasma lens coatings
  • Waterproof and nitrogen-filled
  • Locking center diopter adjustment wheel
  • Titanium center hinge axle
  • Closed-bridge configuration


  • Exceptional low-light visibility
  • Lightweight construction
  • Easy to use
  • Well-built
  • Tripod mountable


  • Costly

5) Athlon Optics 8×42 Midas UHD Gray Binoculars – Best Budget

Athlon Optics 8x42 Midas



As a beginner in birding, you don’t have to break the bank to buy a quality pair of binoculars. The Athlon Optics 8×42 Midas UHD Gray Binoculars come with all the features you need for this activity at a price that is easy on the wallet.

It is a rugged benchmark for all-weather brightness and clarity. Thanks to the UHD glass lenses, the binocular yields bright and clear images with admirable color fidelity. It also features high-quality BaK-4 prisms to complement the 8x magnification power.

The build quality of this binocular is also incredible. It has rugged rubber armor which provides a durable and secure grip for any weather condition. What’s more, the lightweight magnesium chassis is argon-purged to provide better waterproofing and thermal stability.

This pair of binoculars is tripod-ready for easy mounting on a tripod. It is also designed with a smooth focus knob and with twist-up eyecups that make it eyeglass-friendly.


  • UHD glass
  • Magnesium alloy chassis
  • Fully waterproof and fog-proof
  • ESP dielectric prism coating
  • Tough XPL exterior lens coating
  • Central focus knob
  • Twist-up eyecup
  • Tripod adapter socket
  • Non-slip rubber armor


  • Long eye relief
  • Ease of focus
  • Bright and clear optics
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Cheap components

6) Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars 8×42 – Best Value

Zeiss Terra ED



Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars mark our sixth pick of the best binoculars for bird watching beginners. It is a compact, lightweight, and robust pair of binoculars perfect for every outdoor excursion.

Built with a large, smooth, and easy-to-grip focus wheel, this pair of binoculars is easy to focus even for beginners. The compact size adds to its functionality and makes it easy to hold with one or both hands.

The optical performance of this binocular is a force to reckon with. Even in wet environments, the hydrophobic multi-layer coatings keep the views clear and sharp. Besides, the optics have anti-reflective coatings that result in brilliant, high-contrast images.

In terms of weight, this pair of binoculars weighs a mere 695g/24.5oz. Wherever you go, it will be easy to carry without fatigue. Over and above that, it boasts a wide field of view and a forgiving eye relief of 18mm.


  • 8x magnification
  • SCHOTT extra-low dispersion glass
  • Twist-up rubber eyecups
  • Reinforced polycarbonate housing
  • Large center-focusing wheel
  • Hydrophobic multi-coated optics
  • Schmidt-Pechan roof prism optical configuration
  • Waterproof and nitrogen-filled
  • 25’ close focus distance


  • Lightweight construction
  • Great brightness and image quality
  • Compact, portable design
  • Excellent durability


  • The focus wheel is a little stiff

7) Canon 10×30 IS II Image Stabilized Binoculars – Best with Image Stabilization

Canon 10x30 IS II



Our last bird watching binoculars recommendation for beginners is Canon 10×30 IS II. It is an image-stabilized binocular featuring a proprietary IS system and a myriad of other high-quality features.

Thanks to the image stabilization technology, the binoculars produce smooth views and panning. During use, the internal gyro sensors sense movement both vertically and horizontally and direct the prisms to not only compensate for but also correct these movements. A microcomputer is also included to enhance IS operations.

Optically, this image-stabilized binocular has super spectra multi-coatings to reduce light loss and improve image contrast. Other than that, it is designed for portability and ease of use as it has a compact length of 5.9” and a lightweight construction of 21oz only.


  • Center focus wheel
  • Doublet field-flattener lenses
  • ± dioptric correction
  • 10x magnification
  • Eco-friendly lead-free glass
  • Porro prism optical configuration
  • ± 1-degree stabilization freedom


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable and well-built
  • Large field of view
  • Dependable image stabilization


  • Not fog-proof

What Size of Binoculars is the Best?

Binoculars come in different sizes suitable for different applications. The consensus is that the best size of binoculars for bird watching is 8×42. 8x represents the magnification power while 42 is the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters.

Binoculars with an 8x42mm configuration offer a wide field of view that makes it easy for the user to find and view the birds clearly, even at a distance. Furthermore, the moderate magnification makes the binoculars easy to hold steadily during use without the need to use a tripod. They also allow you to zoom in on close targets and see all the details in peak clarity irrespective of the lighting condition.

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Beginners Buying Guide

For beginners in birding, investing in the right pair of binoculars is important. Consider the following before you settle on any particular binocular.


Magnification power in binoculars varies from one product to the other and is represented by the first number in the binocular configuration. We recommend a model with 8x magnification for this outdoor excursion. Such binoculars are easy to hold steadily during use. 8x binoculars also offer a large field of view for easy identification of the birds.


Bird watching is an outdoor activity that calls for lightweight binoculars. The average weight of the best binoculars for bird watching beginners is 1.2lbs. With lightweight construction, the binocular becomes easy to hold and carry around. It is also wise to opt for a pair of binoculars that is compact in size for functional handling.

Optical Quality

The next thing to consider is optical quality which is determined by the quality of glass the binocular is made with. Opt for a model that employs the highest glass you can afford. It will produce clear image views of the birds with brilliant color fidelity.

Another thing to consider is optical coating. Binoculars with multi-coated or fully-coated optics are preferable for birding. They enhance light transmission and ensure that you get bright and clear views even in unforgiving environments.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is a measure of how far your eye has to be from the eyepiece of the binoculars during use. Bird watching binoculars are notorious for being hard on the user’s eyes, with or without eyeglasses. To avoid this, go for a pair that gives ample eye relief and doesn’t necessitate any strain or fatigue especially during lengthy glassing sessions.

Overall Feel

It is also important to pay attention to the overall feel of the binoculars. A pair of binoculars that is lightweight and well-balanced is preferable. It will fit on the hands perfectly and ensure snug glassing. The best binoculars for bird watching beginners should also come with a smooth focusing mechanism.


Don’t forget about the cost. High-end binoculars for bird watching are expensive and more suited for professionals. As a beginner, we recommend that you start with a budget-friendly binocular and then proceed to the high-end models once you have more experience.

See Also


  • How much should I spend on binoculars for bird watching?

Binoculars for bird watching come at different prices. There are budget models that cost under $300 and high-end options that cost more than $1000. So, it all trickles done to the features that you require and your specific budget.

  • Which is better for beginners, compact or full-sized binoculars?

It depends on individual preference. Compact binoculars are lightweight, portable, and great for travel. On the other hand, full-sized binoculars are more versatile given their better low-light performance.

Final Words

Bird watching provides an avenue for your family to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors and nothing beats a quality pair of binoculars during such outings. All the binoculars we have mentioned in this guide are easy to use and a handy companion for birdwatching. Hopefully, you are now able to find a pair that will help you to explore the fascinating world of birding.