Find it Fast: How to Aim Binoculars

Using binoculars for nature observation

Though holding a pair of binoculars up to one's eye may seem easy, many beginning birders initially struggle to find birds through their binoculars. By following these simple tips, you can develop a method to easily locate birds through your binoculars.

Preparation Is The Key To Success

As you enter the birding area, set the binocular focus to the distance where you expect bird activity. This preparation can save valuable seconds. Once you see a bird, don't take your eyes off it! Keep your eyes fixed on the subject as you bring the binoculars up to your face. This technique puts the optics of the binocular in your line of sight while you keep your eyes on the bird. Because lower magnifications have a wider field of view, it will be easier to do this with a 7x or 8x binocular than a 10x or 12x magnification.

Help Yourself and Others

Before applying these skills in the field, you can practice with still objects in the backyard. Another helpful habit to develop is to note the details of the habitat surrounding the bird. Is the bird to the left of the patch of dead leaves, near the right side of the trunk, or on the V-shaped branch? This will help you locate the bird and help others try to spot those speedy little warblers.