Friday, May 4, 2007

Eyeing Birds and Binoculars

Our Eagle Optics birding trip got off to a terrific start last Saturday. With binoculars in hand, we had barely entered the Pheasant Branch Conservancy and our group was greeted by a Great Horned Owl and Cooper's Hawk perched a couple trees apart. Their stately presence, and the majesty of the trees and nature around us, was an excellent reminder of why we should work extra hard to protect our environment. This was my first bird outing and at 6:30 A.M. our group of seven was the only one out, but before long, more bird watchers were on the path. What a warm community welcome we received from the regulars as they shared locations of where to search for particular birds. eo bird 1.jpg

I am glad I was accompanied by skilled birders with the experience to hear and spot small species like the Ruby-crowned Kinglet and the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Without Ben's and Kate's help, I would never have noticed them. The Yellow-rumped Warblers were plentiful and we enjoyed their flycatching activities. The Black and White Warbler was exciting for me to see and I now "get" why birders enjoy the warblers. Joining Mike McDowell's field trip this Saturday to observe even more of this interesting species seems pretty enticing. After viewing 35 species, our trip ended with an exciting close look at the Great Horned Owl perched next to her nest of two owlets.

Getting out in the field and putting optics to the test is the perfect way to validate the advice we give our customers. I used the Swarovski EL 8x32 binoculars and naturally the bright, crisp view was a complete pleasure. The 420 ft. field of view made following birds in flight almost effortless. I find everything about the EL 8x32 to be marvelous, but I kind of missed the 10 power magnification of my Eagle Optics Ranger 10x50. Realistically though, the wide field of view is very important for a new birder to follow the bird in flight. The Vortex Diamondback 8x42 also has the 420 ft. field of view and two members of our staff reported fantastic results using their Diamondbacks. The Leica Ultravid 10x42 and the Stokes DLS 8x42 were the other binoculars of choice for our group.

As the morning progressed and the birding slowed down, I started taking note of what other birders were using in the way of sport optics and their accessories. In addition to several pairs of Swarovski Binoculars, we saw the Pentax DCF WP binocular and the Audubon Equinox HP binocular. Of course, most birders were using the Audubon or Eagle Optics Binocular Harness Strap Systems. This method of carrying binoculars is a must for birders and the Swarovski Bino-Suspenders has been requested by customers lately. Swarovski's harness is similar to most styles but the system for attaching to the binocular is a woven nylon strap with a ring for clipping on the harness. Another important aspect of being in the field is the ability to clean your binoculars if needed. We offer the very popular and easy to use Eagle Optics Lens Cleaning Pen. For other lens cleaning choices check out the following: Nikon Fog Eliminator Kit, Swarovski Lens Cleaning Kit, Vortex Fog Free Lens Cleaning System, or the Zeiss Pre-moistened Lens Cleaning Cloths. This list offers a good variety of lens cleaning systems, but shop the Binocular Accessories section on our website for other options.

Mother's Day is only a week from Sunday. We have an excellent selection for Mother's Day gifts-starting with the accessories for binoculars or one of our first-rate birding guides. A Mother's Day Special will be going out to our email subscribers on Monday. If you choose not to receive our emails, please call us at 1-800-289-1132. We will be happy to give you the details or check the Hot Deals section of our website for information. Those specials or any of our binoculars and spotting scopes will make a deserving Mom feel extra special. We look forward to helping you find the perfect gift.


Eagle Optics

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