Birds are a joy to observe outdoors, and they make wonderful companions indoors as well. We've made it easy to shop for both in one convenient place. Our Cage section accommodates many species, and you can make life more enjoyable with a visit to our Perches & Swings and the Toys categories. Enjoy your backyard feathered friends with bird baths, bird feeders and fashionable bird house selections. When you want to expand your flock, prefab chicken coops provide practical and safe housing.
Bird spotting attracts many who love nature to get involved in the pastime. It has become very popular along the Upper Texas Coast. Galveston, for example, offers year round opportunities for bird spotting. A walk in Galveston State park in October might allow over 50 species to be spotted in one afternoon. Attending a four day gathering of bird watchers at the Feather Fest in late March and early April would allow one to see many of the migrating birds that pass through the area at that time of year, in addition to the indigenous avian residents of the Island.
Being properly equipped for a truly satisfying bird spotting experience means one needs to consider the many options available that will far surpass the use of binoculars. Spotting scopes can turn a speck in the sky or a perched on a fence into an up close and personal visit with a new feathered friend.
When determining which scope will best serve your needs there are several features to give consideration like magnifying power, light gathering capacity and glass quality, placement of the eyepiece, and the focusing mechanism. Most frequently spotting scopes have magnification power ranging from 15x to 60x. To modify the power, scopes may accept fixed length lenses that are interchangeable or have a single zoom type lens.
Magnification power is one of the significant factors to weigh when choosing a spotting scope. Having a scope that has adjustable magnifying powers is very desirable. That allows one to use a low power to locate birds, and change to a higher power to inspect a specimen more closely. There are spotting scopes available with interchangeable fixed length eyepieces, as well as those with a single zoom type lens.
The capacity for gathering light is another aspect of a spotting scope that should be weighed when selecting the one you will use in your bird spotting ventures. The larger the objective lens, the more bright the image you will be able to capture with your scope. A consideration in the size of the lens is the weight it adds to the scope.
Glass quality is another factor to incorporate into one’s decision about which spotting scope to select. The difference between standard glass in some scopes and the better quality high density or the extra low dispersion glass used in other scopes is seen most dramatically in the clarity of image in low light situations of bird spotting, or at higher power magnifications.
Eyepiece placement on a spotting scope is also a very important consideration in determining your selection. Spotting scopes with a straight through viewing design provides ease in finding and following a bird. Those scopes with the eyepiece angled at forty five degrees facilitates viewing the horizon, and in sharing the observation with others on your bird spotting outing.
Spotting scopes with a focusing collar around the scope provide for ease and speed of adjustments. Focusing knobs make adjustments more slow, but also more precise. The size of your hands, as well as your dexterity, will likely play a part in the decision about the focusing mechanism chosen.
The selection of your spotting scope will not be complete till you have selected the support you will need for the scope while on a bird spotting excursion. The flip lock design will give secure support and the ease of adjustments to be made to the legs of the tripod for the uneven ground you will often be in while bird spotting.
A measure of caution should be incorporated into the decision of which spotting scope suits your needs. Some manufacturers offer inexpensive scopes, but there performance in the field is frequently poor. Choosing a quality spotting scope at a reasonable price will assure your long term satisfaction with the equipment.