10 Best Monoculars for Bird Watching – You Won’t Miss Anything!

Last updatedLast updated: December 25, 2020
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Not all high rated monocular for bird watching work as they are said to do. If you assume you have the information on what to look for, then you could be mistaken. Your assumptions will rarely turn out to be true. You could be wrong, which will hinder you from getting what you intended to get from the market. You deserve the best monocular to take your birding experience a notch higher.

Unfortunately, there are many monoculars in the market, with each variety claiming a high level of prowess in the industry. How will you identify the best monocular for bird watching? Fortunately, there is an exhaustive list of several monocular that appear in the list of our favorites. Although the list might not look at every monocular in the market, they will give an excellent idea of what to look for, taking into account factors such as dimensions, material, size, magnification, weight, and weatherproofing.

Top 10 Monoculars for Bird Watching Review 2021

1.

Swift Reliant Birdfeeder Monocular 779Editor’s Choice

Features
  • Dimensions: 7 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 0.70 lbs.
  • Magnification: 10x – 25x zoom
  • Objective diameter: 42 mm
  • Weatherproofing: none

More features: has a neck strap; limited lifetime warranty; sheath type belt loop case

If you are looking for a monocular that will take your birding experience to the next level, Swift Reliant Bird Feeder Monocular is what you need. You can simply have it in your car and experience an excellent look at the wildlife and other wonderful sceneries. It is equipped with high-quality optics making it a great monocular.

The monocular will view down to about 12 feet, making it appropriate for nature viewing. You might not need all the power it boasts. Ten power is a high amount of power for a handheld device. You will need to use one of your hands to steady the glass, and you will be sure of satisfactory results.

The Swift Bird Feeder Monocular is equipped with high magnification power, and it gives a broader pupil diameter, unlike a variety of binoculars in the market today. It has the best magnification for close bird watching.

Even though it is not lightweight, the device is pocketable and bright monocular, making your bird watching goals easily achieved. It is one of the best monocular suited for excellent birding experience as it gives a twilight performance.

What we liked:

  • High quality
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What could be better:

  • Highly powered
Features
  • Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 11.2 oz
  • Magnification: 1-3x
  • Objective diameter: not specified
  • Weatherproofing: not specified

More features: adjustable gain control; high-quality imaging; automatic shut off; 1,000 mW IR illuminator; high-resolution camera; lanyard included

This is yet another monocular suitable for your birding activities. It gives high-quality imaging from a distance. It will give you a quick and easy operation. The ergonomic design makes it easy to grip the unit on your hand safely and enjoy your hobby.

Noting that the monocular has daytime and night capabilities, it is perfect for hiking, camping, and bird watching. You can also use it to make observations and home security.  The 1000Mw IR illuminator and a high-resolution camera can assure you of clear images even in the darkest nights. Additionally, it is durable and weighs 11.2oz, only making it highly portable as you make your travels. It is the best portable monocular for bird watching.

Besides, it is equipped with adjustable gain control, which enables you to change the brightness of the image to superior levels. While in the day mode, the monocular maintain their color fidelity, which gives high-quality images.

You can use it to view a distance up to 150 feet and up to 3times digital zoom allowing the users to get a wide range of magnification for your target. It has a user-friendly video output feature which allows the image to be viewed on the monitor. Also, it boasts an automatic shut off feature, which turns off after a duration if not in use hence saving the battery.

What we liked:

  • Powerful built-in infrared illuminator
  • Ergonomic design
  • Auto shut off to save the battery
  • Adjustable to daytime and night mode
  • Lightweight

What could be better:

  • Not durable
Features
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective diameter: 25 mm
  • Weatherproofing: none

More features: fixed magnification; lightweight; rubberized eyecup and lens covers; easy to grip barrel; comes with a neck cord; lens cord; carry case

If you have been yearning for a better view of distant items, then Reizen extra is the monocular you need. You will be able to catch every bit of action with this monocular. It allows you to see objects magnified up to ten times through the lens. It is portable, allowing you to carry it in your pocket while ensuring you get clear visuals irrespective of where you are doing it.

Take it along with you for your outdoor activities, including nature walks and bird watching, sporting activities, and get an unmatched watching experience.

The compatibility, lightweight, and convenience of the monocular are certainly important features that you will appreciate.

The adjustable focus monocular is handy, particularly when your hiking trail since you can easily magnifier your target objects perfectly.  You can adjust it for far viewing. Also, it offers a great grip for sure, turning, and focusing on your target. The eyecup feature is flexible, rubberized to give maximum viewing comfort. The rubberized lens protects the lens when the monocular keeping it safe for you.

What we liked:

  • Lightweight
  • Rubberized eyecup and lens
  • Easy to grip barrel

What could be better:

  • No weatherproofing material
4.

Axeon AM3 MonocularBest Flashlight

Features
  • Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective diameter: 32 mm
  • Weatherproofing: waterproof; fog proof construction

More features: fixed magnification; compact; lightweight; all-weather polymer housing; 16 mm eye relief; LED flashlight

It boasts an 8-power monocular with a 250 lumen LED flashlight, which is vital in identifying objects and conditions in low levels of light. Equipped with a compact and durable housing and a high-quality camera objective lens, it ensures you get the best birding experience.

It is your suitable companion during hiking, sports, travel, birding, and other outdoor activities. The rubber grip gives you the best grip in virtually all conditions. It’s also water-resistant, and fog proof is allowing you to enjoy watching birds irrespective of the weather.

The field of view is 390 feet wide at a range of 1000 yards giving you a great view. Monocular is great, particularly when birding is your hobby. It will work best for your hunting, hiking as well as recreational exploration. Despite its size, it is lightweight, allowing you to easily pack it in your pockets as you take to your hike.

The light is very bright. The square-shaped beam is odd, although it goes from the spot to flood easily. The LED light on the bottom makes it useful after dark.

What we liked:

  • Lightweight
  • All-weather polymer housing
  • Compact
  • LED flashlight

What could be better:

  • Has a short-range in a restricted environment
Features
  • Dimensions: 3 x 1.25 inches
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Magnification: 5x
  • Objective diameter: 20 mm
  • Weatherproofing: none

More features: fixed magnification; lightweight; compact; rubberized eyecup

Have you been yearning to get a better view of some distant birds during your outdoor activities? Reizen Extra short-focus monocular will be useful for your excursion and hikes as it gives your five times magnification of various objects. It is portable, and you can have it in your backpack and give you a great bird viewing clarity all along your trail.

You can have to carry it with you when going for bed watching, sporting events, or nature walks and enjoy carrying them conveniently than other bulkier monocular. They come with a strap enabling, allowing you easily hang them on your neck as you move. You won’t notice its presence while hiking until you reach that moment when you need to identify a bird.

It will give you a great view. Importantly, it is light in weight hence making it perfect for carrying it around. It is suitable for far viewing as it works in a similar way with a mini telescope. You can quickly turn the eyecup features since it is flexible, giving you a better viewing comfort. The rubberized lens caps keep the lens safe in the monocular.

What we liked:

  • Sure-grip
  • Lens cover
  • Compact
  • Rubberized eyecup

What could be better:

  • Not equipped with weatherproofing material
Features
  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 4.4 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 oz
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective diameter: 25 mm
  • Weatherproofing: waterproof; fog proof

More features: fixed magnification; 15 mm eye relief; neck lanyard; carry case; utility clip; fully multi-coated; rubber armor; adjustable eyecups

It is a small, lightweight optic with several coated lenses, which increases the light transmission to ensure you get clear and crispy images you deserve. It is rubber-armored, which gives a non-slip grip to the user, which makes it more durable. It is the best compact monocular for bird watching.

It is nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed to offer waterproof performance in the environment you are taking your trail. The eyecups are adjustable to offer a comfortable viewing irrespective of whether you have glasses or not.

It is indeed a high-quality compact optic that will suit your vital optic needs. The monocular boasts waterproof and shockproof features, ensuring that the weather won’t deter you whenever you want to go hiking. It is a versatile monocular suitable for birdwatchers, backpackers as well as bowhunters.

The device comes with an unlimited lifetime warranty that allows you to enjoy repair or replacement services in case it gets damaged. The company will ensure the device gets in perfect working conditions. The outdoor enthusiast will enjoy the compact device. It is easy to carry and delivers a high-quality view bringing nature closer to you.

What we liked:

  • Comfortable viewing with or without glasses
  • Extremely durable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great performance in low light

What could be better:

  • No lens caps
  • The focus ring is stiff a needs two hands to turn
7.

Wingspan Optics ExplorerMost Lightweight

Features
  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 1.9 x 6.4 inches
  • Weight: 14 oz
  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective diameter: 50 mm
  • Weatherproofing: waterproof

More features: twist-up eyecup; fully multi-coated; lightweight

It is light in weight with high powered monocular for adults equipped with optical structure custom made for bird watching. It will give you a better experience than the bird watching binoculars. It offers high powered bird watching monocular scope, which brings you new reality and brightness, color, and clarity for every object you view.

You can easily watch for hours in great comfort of this monocular. You just have to identify and zoom to the birds in a wide view bringing them much closer to you from as far as 1000 yards. The device is waterproof, making it suitable even in the rainy weather. Also, the lens protection covers will prevent your lens from never scratch again.

It comes with a mesh carrying case and a lens cleaning cloth, making it possible to keep it in your pocket.

It is one of the most-clear monocular, which gives the best possible view for birds’ watching and wildlife scenery. The 12*50 magnification enables you to see things closer and brighter with a 500mm lens. It is indeed one of the most powerful handheld monoculars you will find in the market.

What we liked:

  • High magnification
  • Durable

What could be better:

  • The eye relief may be too short for some people
8.

Gosky High Definition Monocular TelescopeBest Shopping Experience

Features
  • Dimensions: 3.25 x 2.12 x 6.95 inches
  • Weight: 1.55 lbs.
  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective diameter: 55 mm
  • Weatherproofing: waterproof, fog proof, dustproof and shockproof

More features: long eye-relief; high powered; twist-up eyecup; lifetime warranty; excellent customer service

Gosky monocular is a great monocular providing high magnification. The 12 times magnification and the 55mm lens make it a useful viewing device. Although this monocular may not be as compact as the others, its magnification power makes it a great monocular.

It is equipped with a hand strap and a cell phone mount. The cell phone mount enables you to project images from the monocular to your phone. That makes it a worthwhile option, unlike other monoculars.

You can use it for small viewing distances efficiently. While observing images at a stationary position, this monocular will pick images from further distances and magnify them in a great way.

What we liked:

  • High magnification
  • Hand strap and cell phone mount
  • Easy to use the focus knob
  • Durable

What could be better:

  • Bigger compared to other monoculars
  • It requires tripod in some instances
Features
  • Dimensions: 3.4 x 7.1 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight: 13.9 oz
  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective diameter: 50 mm
  • Weatherproofing: shock-absorbing; waterproof; fog proof

More features: comes with a smartphone holder; rubber armor; FMC lens coating; smart phase correction

The Gosky monocular is a great magnification for the outdoor enthusiast. It offers a magnification of 12 times and has a huge 55mm lens. Although not as compact as most monocular, its magnification makes it a handy device for viewing objects.

It comes equipped with a hand strap as a cellphone mount, enabling you to project the image from a monocular right to your phone. It is a great monocular option for your birding; however, you might need to use a tripod with this monocular.

Gosky titan with a tripod can best be used for a small spotting scope. You will find this monocular a great option for all-weather since it is waterproof and fog proof, and therefore it can withstand harsh weather conditions along your trail.

What we liked:

  • Great magnification
  • Compatible with tripod
  • Great eye relief
  • Great durability

What could be better:

  • Bigger compared to other monoculars
10.

Monocular Telescope by SlopehillGreat with a Phone

Features
  • Dimensions: 6.65 x 4.06 x 2.87 inches
  • Weight: 15.4 oz
  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective diameter: 50 mm
  • Weatherproofing: waterproof

More features: Porro prism; manual focus; has a phone adapter; adjustable metal tripod; hand strap; user manual; non-slip

It’s yet another monocular that will be worth your money and offers a great experience with your birding adventure. Equipped with the best optics, you will get highly magnified and clear images. They have high light transmission to yield sharp images and help you see your target correctly. It is the best monocular telescope for bird watching.

It is designed to be user friendly and durable. The construction is waterproof and fog proof, which keeps water and moisture from getting into the monocular. The textured rubber makes it comfortable to handle and prevents it from slipping to give you great user experience.

The powerful magnification lens will bring the image closer to you. The lens has great light gathering capabilities hence ensuring you get the best quality images.

It boasts the newest optics technology and a fully multi-coated lens, which allows superior light transmission and brightness. The monocular has low light level night transmission, which enables you to see things in low light.

Importantly, it is highly compatible with smartphones. You can easily install it and get high-quality images to share with your friends.

What we liked:

  • Compact size
  • Quality monocular
  • Adjustable metal tripod
  • Has a phone adaptor
  • Comes with instructions manual

What could be better:

  • The connection to the smartphone is a little bulky

Things to Сonsider

There are numerous varying specifications that monocular has such as magnification, lens diameter, focus style, and glass quality. Although there are many varieties of monocular in the market, you will need to go for the best. As an outdoor enthusiast, you will need something that takes your bird watching activities a notch higher. To be sure the device won’t disappoint you, it is worth going for a device that meets your expectations in terms of the features it is equipped with. Therefore, this guide is extensive in giving you unmatched insights on what to look at in your next purchase.

Why do you need a monocular for bird watching?

10 Best Monoculars for Bird Watching - You Won't Miss Anything!

Monoculars are portable. Bird watchers need a spotting scope that can fit in their hands. Monoculars are usually light in weight and use a series of lenses and prisms to magnify objects and give great looks within a reasonable range. Although they don’t allow you to view using both eyes, they need one eye to be used effectively.

They are great for observing birds since they are lightweight, making them ideal for you to go with them anywhere. Also, their compact and portable nature makes them a suitable option.

The size adds to the usefulness of monocular. Monocular will give a whole lot of magnification irrespective of their size. It is also a great option if you are tired of carrying binoculars with you every time. You will find it useful if you are a long-distance hiker since you can easily have it in your backpack and have reduced weight for your trail. Importantly, they are a superb option for observing birds along your trail.

Monoculars are beneficial, and they come at a lower cost compared to binocular. If you need affordable optics, monocular is a great way to kick off your bird watching hobby.

Features to consider before you buy a monocular for bird watching

If you are a nature enthusiast who wants to keep his hands free, then acquiring a monocular is a suitable option for you. The device features a single eyepiece and lens, which makes them appropriate for single-hand use. They are lighter and smaller compared to binoculars, although that doesn’t affect their performance. However, you would need to choose a high-quality product which meets the expectations of loved watching birds

Dimensions

The dimensions of your preferred device for birds are also critical. It is important to check at the device’s dimensions while purchasing to be certain; it will serve the intended purpose. You will need to carry your monocular during your outdoor activities. Therefore, a compact size is a vital consideration. Also, a bigger size is likely to give better clarity of the objects you are viewing. Reizen Extra Short Focus Monocular 3915 measures 3 x 1.25 inches, which makes it rather compact.

Weight

Lightweight and compact design make monocular highly portable. If you want a monocular to carry in your pocket as you go hiking, you will need a lightweight monocular. It is advisable to get the lightest monocular possible. It is easier to carry it for hours during your outdoor activities without getting exhausted. Importantly, most of them weigh not more than two pounds. Reizen Extra Short Focus Monocular 3915 weighs 1lb, which makes it highly portable for your outdoor adventures. The weight will determine how portable and convenient the device you purchase will be.

Magnification

10 Best Monoculars for Bird Watching - You Won't Miss Anything!

Most bird watchers need clear magnification. Higher magnification will allow you to view birds. It is a vital factor as it determines how well you can view birds from a far distance. It determines how easily you can view birds, which would be scared at a close range hence compelling you to stay at a distance. Swift Reliant Birdfeeder Monocular 779 has a magnification of between 10 – 25 to offer you a better viewing experience. Monocular for bird watching needs to be equipped with a powerful magnification lens.

The magnification ranges typically between 5 to 20 times; however, you will find some magnification might be slightly more than what you need. Higher magnification needs steadier hands.

 

Objective diameter

One of the downsides for monocular is their small field of view. Since they only use one eye, unlike binoculars, they have a reduced field of view. However, if you find a monocular with a broader objective diameter, you would be able to get more decent images.

The objective diameter tells you the size of the objective lens.

 

Typically, the size of the objective diameter for monocular varies between 25mm and 70mm. You will have to pick one depending on your preference. If you need a big objective diameter, you can choose Gosky High Definition Monocular Telescope with a 55mm objective diameter. Since the smaller one, than this would make it inconvenient for your bird watching experience.

Weatherproofing

The waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof design prevents moisture, dust, and debris while ensuring the living waterproof function for the device. Gosky Titan 12 x 50 High Power Prism Monocular and quick smartphone holder is equipped with a waterproofing feature to offer protection in adverse weather conditions.

Material

The quality of material used in the construction determines how durable the monocular will be. Therefore, when purchasing, it is worth ensuring you pick high-quality material for the device. That will also reduce the high chances of getting damages for the unit.

Monocular equipped with a rubber armor boasts an additional protection layer, which also guarantees a comfy grip.

 

10 Best Monoculars for Bird Watching - You Won't Miss Anything!

Also, it is worth checking for a body that is resistant to slipping as it gives maximum comfort while using the device. The resistance to severe weather adds to the longevity of the unit. If the device bears fog, dust, and moisture-sensitive components, it would be best. Axeon AM3 Monocular boasts all-weather polymer housing, enabling it to withstand harsh weather conditions and make it durable.

Accessories

These features add to the convenience and efficiency of the product, making it work more appropriately. They are not basic requirements, but it is worth considering them as they add to the efficiency.

The carry bag that allows you to store the device while not in use. It also enables you to carry the monocular around easily, even if it has no strap. Reizen Extra Short Focus Monocular comes with a carry case to enable you to carry it easily for your hike.

The polishing cloth is making the cleaning of the device easier. The cleaning ensures you get maximum clarity for the objects you are viewing. Reizen Extra Short Focus Monocular is equipped with a cleaning cloth to keep the lens clean.

Tripod is vital in enabling you to steady the device when watching birds and taking photos. Suppose the monocular you are buying has a tripod, the better. Monocular Telescope by Slopehill has an adjustable tripod stand.

Smartphone holder that enables you to use your smartphone with the monocular. Monocular Telescope by Slopehill is equipped with a smartphone holder. It is a vital feature that adds to the versatility of the device.

FAQ

Unlike many other optical objects, monocular doesn’t have many features. Therefore, it only takes little technicality to focus on the objects you want to view. But how do you use it properly? To start with, you will need to major in the most powerful eye. It is advisable to use the left hand for the right eye and right hand for the left eye. Don’t worry about your myopia or presbyopia conditions or other eye conditions that require you to wear glasses, but you will need to wear them when using monocular. Secondly, holding the monocular properly is a vital factor. While grabbing your monocular, take the device to the level where your eyes can hold the barrel near the ocular lens. Ensure your eyes is as close as possible but not having any physical contact. Set the focus by adjusting it manually and adjusting it until you get the clearest view of the object you are viewing. Eye on your target and follow its movement and refocus as needed.

Cleaning is part of the maintenance practices for a monocular. It takes time and effort, but it guarantees you great experience over time with your device. To start with, you will need to clean the microfiber cloth and dry it. Use it to wipe any fingerprints from the device. Lens brush is vital, removing dust on the lens. Any moisture can be removed with a dry microfiber cloth right away. In case of moisture on the monocular lens, which ends up leaving marks when dried up, you can remove them by moistening the lens with water then using a cleaning cloth. Alternatively, you can clean with professional lens cleaners once your monocular gets dirty.

Bird watching at night is a reality. All you need is viewing them using the night vision scope in their natural habitat even after it is already dark. A lightweight night vision monocular device will give you a distinct viewing of birds even in the darkest conditions. Also, the majority of them are tripod adaptable. Therefore, if you want to observe some bird behavior at night, the night vision monocular will let you achieve that. Therefore, owning a night vision monocular will be a great way to make your night birding experiences higher.

Our Verdict

Bird watching is a popular hobby for many people. You will need a large monocular unit to soar your birding experience a notch higher. As a birding enthusiast, you needn’t go for a monocular that will end up disappointing you along your trail or hiking activity—the reason why this handy guide comes to give essential insights.

Following a thorough review of the best monocular for bird watching, we settled for Swift Reliant Birdfeeder Monocular 779 as our editor’s choice. It gives high magnification of 10-25 zoom, a big 42mm objective diameter, has a neck strap, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Our best value is the Reizen Extra Short Focus Monocular. It gives ten times magnification, it’s lightweight, and has rubberized eyecup and lens covers. For the premium pick, we went for Firefield Digital DNVM Night Vision Monocular FF18066. It has an adjustable gain control, high-quality imaging, and a high-resolution camera.

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