Birding Equipment – what do you really need?

If you are a birder, SuperBirder or not, you are going to need some birding equipment if you are going to make any progress in this amazing hobby. The very minimum that you require is a pair of binoculars and a field guide to the birds to be found in the country that you are visiting. As you get more experienced, and dedicated, then there are other bits and pieces that you can acquire.


You are not a birder if you don’t possess, or carry around, a pair of binoculars. There is an amazing array of binoculars available, but one must be cautious and, never forget that bigger is not always better. Click the link to find out how you go about choosing the best pair of binoculars for birding for you.

Field Guides

A field guide to the birds of your home country is a great starting point. When you get to the point of going on birding trips to other countries then you will start adding field guides to your collection. There are birding field guides that cover most regions of the world. Some countries, or regions, such as the USA, Great Britain, southern Africa or east Africa have numerous field guides available. I haven’t yet come across a bad field guide so just choose the one that fits your personal preference, price range and is not too heavy to carry around in the field. Find out more about bird field guides.

Spotting Scopes

For general birding spotting scopes are not essential. They do come into their own along the coast or estuaries or dams where the birds might be beyond the range of your binoculars. One big advantage of spotting scopes is that you can fix it on a stationary bird and let others have a chance to view it.

Other birding equipment

As you progress, or specialise, there are other gadgets that you can make use of. Remember that anything that you buy has got to be carried with you!