Bird watching is my favorite hobby, and monoculars are indispensable for viewing birds up close. I’ve tested dozens of bird-watching monoculars over the years, which gave me the opportunity to create the best monoculars for bird watching this year.
I’ve narrowed down the field to 10 of the top-rated bird-watching monoculars on the market today in order to provide you with an unbiased buying guide.
After reading through this article, you will be able to choose a quality bird-watching monocular that is perfect for your needs and get started observing some of nature’s most interesting creatures.
If you are thinking of upgrading your monocular, be sure to check out this guide. Let’s get started.
What are the Best Monoculars for Bird Watching?
Now you might be wondering, what is included in this list of best monoculars for bird watching?
Well, we are focusing specifically on compact, high-quality monoculars that can be used to view birds up close.
We’re excluding low-quality monoculars and other magnification devices as they are not specific to bird viewing.
My highest priority when testing a bird-watching monocular was the field of view (FOV); whether the scope lenses were large enough to provide a clear image of all surrounding objects.
After narrowing down the field, we’ve listed our top 10 picks for best monoculars for bird watching below.
So without further ado, here is the list of the best monoculars for bird watching:
From binoculars to monoculars, Bushnell Brand is here for your service with a reputation for quality.
The Bushnell Legend 10×42 monocular is specifically designed for birding, boasting an impressive 340’@1000-ft field of view and a high magnification of 10x.
Bushnell is always known for its quality construction and this monocular is no exception.
There are many reasons why I have selected this monocular as the best for birding.
And you will be happy to know that this is the monocular you might need for your bird hunting journey.
Ok, no more drama; let’s see some of its features below:
Every time I peer through the lens of this monocular, I am impressed with the clarity of the image.
Its high-quality optics allows you to view far-away objects with great detail and clarity.
The pc-3 phase of coated prism lenses provides a clear, distortion-free image.
Large field of view:
This monocular has a field of view of 340′, which is large enough to cover most birding needs.
And with magnification at 10x, you’ll be able to see even the smallest of creatures close up and identify them easily.
The view from this monocular is clear and unrestricted in all directions, just what you need when birding.
I particularly like how Bushnell has spaced the lens apart to provide a wide field of view without sacrificing quality or magnification.
You’ll be able to see every nook and cranny of your surroundings.
Why it’s best
There are many things that impressed me but only a few features attracted me the most.
Now you can ask me, is that a perfect fit for bird watching?
My answer is, of course. As a birding enthusiast, this monocular is an essential tool for your field kit.
You’ll be able to view far-away objects with clear clarity and magnification of 10x, which will make identifying birds and other wildlife easy.
With its large field of view and high magnification, you’re sure to find the perfect use for this monocular when birding in any environment, terrestrial or aquatic.
It is lightweight and compact and helps to take you wherever you go.
Additionally, the nitrogen-filled lenses are durable so you can rely on this scope to provide quality images year-round.
Here are some pros and cons of this monocular to help you come up with a decision:
Looking for a quick guide of monocular parts? Click here for details.
Our previously selected best monocular was a 10×42 mm lens.
But, if you love birding, and find the magnification too weak or inconvenient to use, then this monocular from Gosky might be a better choice for you.
Many of my readers have already asked me about, what are some monoculars that have higher magnification.
When did I ask them why? (Basically, 10×42 mm is perfect for bird watching)
They said high-magnification monocular is great for viewing distant objects or hunting in dense bush.
However, Monocular has its own advantages and disadvantages; some people feel they’re bulky and difficult to carry around, while others find that birding is best enjoyed from a distance where binoculars can be used more efficiently.
But if you want to view something really close-up, such as an insect or small bird, then a 12x50mm monocular is the perfect tool.
Here are some features of our this selected monocular:
Magnification and Objective lens:
The Gosky Titan 12×50 monocular has a magnification of up to 12x, which indicates you’ll be able to view objects at great distances with clarity.
The large objective lens of 50 mm makes it ideal for bird watching, hunting, and other activities.
I am so much in love with this monocular as it gives much more than I expected.
Smartphone adapter helps to view and capture images of animals or targets in high magnification without having to remove your smartphone from your pocket.
Simply plug it into the USB port and start capturing amazing photos of what you’re viewing.
This digital monocular, which has high magnification, is also lightweight and compact in design that enables you to view them up close.
You can take this monocular bird-watching anywhere you go.
Plus, this item weighs only 0.352 ounces, and its compact design makes it very easy to store and carry around.
Why it’s best
I always admire the brightness, ease of use, and performance of the monocular, but when I tried out the Titan monocular, I was amazed at how clear the image was.
It has an IPx7 waterproof and fog-proof design, so you can view it even in the worst weather conditions.
I can understand how difficult it is to view small objects, such as insects or birds up close with an ordinary monocular, but the Titan monocular made it so much easier.
The compact and lightweight design of this monocular is perfect for travel or hiking as well.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants high-quality bird-watching monocular at an affordable price.
People often make mistakes by choosing a low-quality monocular when they are looking for the best bird watching monocular.
That’s why our third monocular choice is the Opticron explorer 8×42 monocular.
While the magnification of an Opticron monocular is not as high as some of the other models on this list, it features a durable design and field of view that will provide users with clear images no matter what conditions they choose to view their birds in.
That’s not all; we have some more surprises for you about this monocular.
Do you want to know what those are? Here are some of them:
Roof prism helps your monocular function better in low-light conditions by minimizing the amount of light that is scattered during image transmission.
This allows you to view intricate details and image clarity at night or when there is less light available. I think Opticron is a perfect monocular in this case.
Another impressive feature of this monocular is the close focus ability which allows you to view bird details at a closer range than some of the other monoculars on this list.
This is great for bird watchers who are looking to capture images of birds in their natural habitats.
My biggest concern about monocular is that it usually doesn’t provide me with the best view of bird details.
Opticron has addressed this issue by providing long eye relief, which will give you a clear field of view from various positions.
Why it’s best
Now you might be thinking, what makes this monocular stand out from the rest?
It features a decent magnification of 8x for clear viewing of distant objects, and it has a durable design that can withstand wear and tear.
Plus, its single-hand grip design makes it easier to hold onto when you’re watching birds in bird spotting locations.
This lens renders clear images with clarity even under low light conditions, which means you can view birds at night or during foggy weather conditions easily with this monocular. Tell me how awesome these features are.
Also, Watch five fast facts about monoculars:
A few days ago, I was out bird-watching when I came across a pair of Carson Blackwave.
Had I been using my standard monocular, I would have never been able to view birds so closely or get such an amazing view of them.
Its 10x magnification allows you to see details at close range that you otherwise might not be able to see with other monoculars on the market.
However, the objective lens diameter is a downside of this model. But don’t be discouraged.
This monocular is still a great choice if you’re looking for a high-quality monocular.
Why and how? Ok, let’s take a look at its features first.
First of all, this monocular is of high quality. I can assure you that if you’re looking for a durable monocular, this is the perfect option.
Plus, its water-resistant design means that it’ll continue to work even in difficult weather conditions.
Is it normal? One more thing I forgot to mention is its quality is tested by experts. Now say?
I have to say that you get a lot of value for your money with the Carson Blackwave.
Sure, it might be the cheapest option out there, and it’s definitely worth the investment.
Great customer support:
Do you know what matters the most when it comes to a quality monocular, customer support is of the utmost importance.
Fortunately, Carson Blackwave has great customer service that will help you with whatever question or concern you might have about their product.
Why it’s best
Are you still wondering why it’s the best? Well, let me tell you why this monocular is the best choice for bird watching.
With its 10x magnification and high-quality lens, it allows you to view details that would otherwise be impossible to see.
Plus, its 273’@1000 yards field of view means that you’ll be able to see a large area at once.
I don’t think you can find a monocular that offers much more than the price.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the Carson Blackwave monocular if you’re in the market for a high-quality tool that’s both affordable and durable.
We all have those moments when we feel like taking a leisurely walk with our birding monocular and spotting some interesting species.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. A high-quality monocular is a perfect companion for you in such situations.
That is why we consider Leica Calonox a must-have for people who are serious about their hobby.
Externally, the Leica monocular looks just like any other regular binoculars, but inside there lies advanced technology that gives you a clear view of what’s happening around you even at night.
Here are some of its selected features:
Superior image quality:
It gives you a high-quality image that can be seen even in low light.
The lens is equipped with a 10x magnification lens which guarantees a clear view of distant objects.
Automatic mode is a handy feature that takes over when conditions are not favorable for scanning.
It adjusts settings according to available light conditions, so you have a clear view even in low-light scenarios.
The best part is that it also keeps track of distance, so you don’t miss anything important because of poor visibility.
You can use Leica Calonox anywhere you want. Whether it’s at home or on a field trip, this little gadget will come in handy as an indispensable companion.
And with its portable design and lightweight stature, you can feel free to take it wherever you go.
Why it’s best
Wait, I am not yet done reviewing this one. Actually, it has multi-features that make it a great choice for birdwatchers of all levels of expertise.
Not only this, its thermal camera helps you view bird activity in high definition.
This is definitely a great addition for novice birdwatchers and those who are just starting out with their hobby.
And, the monocular charges quickly using a rechargeable battery so you can stay out bird-watching all day long without having to worry about running out of power or swapping batteries.
All these features really make Leica the best of all.
Looking for the perfect nighttime companion? Then look no further.
Adasion 12×56 monocular is the perfect companion for bird watching and stargazing.
Though this monocular is built for star watching, can you relate this to bird watching at night?
If you’re someone who loves spotting birds in the night sky and watching their habits, then this monocular is perfect for you.
Ok, before you start judging this monocular, here are some features of it to look around:
It has 21 mm of large eyepieces. Now how will this help you in bird watching?
Well, because of its large eyepieces, you won’t have to squint while bird watching.
You’ll also get a clear and high-definition image with minimal distortion.
12x magnification lens:
With a 12x magnification lens, you’ll be able to spot all the tiny details in the bird’s feathers and body movements. Not bad for a monocular that costs less than $200.
This monocular comes with a one-click photography mode.
This means that you don’t have to fumble around trying to take clear pictures of your bird-watching expedition.
Simply push the button and SNAP! You’ve got a great shot of the bird in all its detail without having to hold down the shutter for long periods of time.
Why it’s best
It features a 12x magnification lens that will allow you to view birds at great distances with clarity.
Plus, its smartphone adapter allows for complete control of your smartphone’s camera so that you can take high-quality photos.
The tripod also doubles as a Handle so that it is easy to hold on to and keep stationary when taking pictures or videos of wildlife.
The compact design also makes it easy to store when not in use.
High-power monocular boasts clear low-light vision that makes them perfect for viewing far and dark sides.
And last but not least, the hand strap adds convenience to your viewing experience without sacrificing quality. For me, it’s the best.
Another one from Bushnell? Yes, dear. It is because this monocular has a different magnification level than the rest of the model.
And still, it grabs my attention. I never iced bird watching before, but I find myself doing it now.
Simply put, the best monocular for bird watching have good magnification and lenses that allow you to view birds at a great distance with clarity.
And Bushnell Equinox 5×32 monocular has just that. Even though the magnification level is lower, you can use this model for bird watching.
It also features night vision capabilities so that you can see those pesky nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat without having to switch on any light.
Here are some of its features:
My favorite thing about this monocular is that it comes with night vision capabilities.
No more worries in low light, the Bushnell 5×32 model is here to serve you according to your needs.
One super cool feature of this monocular is that it can be used for video recording.
So you can create high-quality field footage of your birding expedition and share it with the world.
One of the best features of this monocular is that it has an IR illuminator which makes bird-watching in low-light conditions much easier. It illuminates objects up to a distance of 650 feet.
Why it’s best
Now the question that arises is whether it is best or not. Well, the monocular is definitely one of the bests on this list.
It comes with great features that make bird watching much easier and it also has night vision capabilities which means you can view things clearly.
Plus, it has 5x zoom capability which allows you to view objects at a great distance.
So whether you’re new to birding or have been watching birds for years, the Bushnell Equinox 5×32 is definitely one of the best monocular out there and would make a great addition to your field gear.
I can understand that our list is long, and you don’t have time to read all of it.
But a good monocular selection is very important; otherwise, it will affect your birding experience.
So you should keep reading on. Our eighth-best monocular is from Vortex. Sounds familiar?
Well, this Vortex brand of binoculars was also featured on our best-hunting binoculars list.
Two reasons why you might want to consider this monocular: first of all, it is one of the best-selling monoculars on Amazon, and secondly, its compact design makes it great for travel.
Some of the features that make this monocular so good are:
Solo ricon tactical monoculars:
One unique feature of Vortex 8×36 mm monocular is its Solo Ricon feature.
These let you use the monocular and improve bird-watching clarity due to magnification of only 8x.
The monocular also has an eye-catching design that will make it stand out.
I really love how professional it looks, and I am sure that you will too.
One of the great things about monocular is that this is often lightweight and portable.
This one is no exception, and its rubber armour ensures durability in lightweight conditions.
Why it’s best
So, overall, I won’t hesitate to tag this one as the best.
I can remember when I first used one of these compact monoculars, and the clarity it provided was amazing.
Binoculars are great for birding, but sometimes a compact monocular is just what you need to get the best view possible of your target.
What have others said?
Many people seem to really like this monocular, and they say that it is perfect for travel or bird watching in low light conditions.
Others note that its eye relief might be too high for some people, but other than that, most users are very happy with their purchase.
You’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to get closer to nature, and Hawke has a product that’s going to take you there.
The Hawke Endurance ED monocular is an upgraded version of the classic monocular that lets you view things at a distance.
It comes with its own case, so you don’t have to worry about damaging it on your outings.
The magnification is good enough so that you can see more detail and identify different species easily.
Want to know about some of its features? Here are those:
Vision is very important, especially when bird watching.
Whether you’re outside on a bright day or inside under low-light conditions, the Endurance ED will give you clear vision so you can see what’s happening up close and far away.
The monocular is completely waterproof, so you can take it on any of your bird-watching trips.
Basically, you won’t have to worry about anything ruining your view.
One killing feature of the monocular is the lifetime warranty. If anything goes wrong with it, you can simply send it in for repair or replacement.
Why it’s best
Expert says every monocular should have a quality lens, a field of view wide and clear, and a magnification high enough to see detail.
All these are available in the Hawke Endurance monocular. So, I can definitely claim it as the best.
I think the biggest pro of the monocular is that it’s incredibly durable and waterproof.
My friend has had it for many years., and it still works like new. Its manual focus adjustment also proved to be very handy. I’m happy with all its features, and I hope you will be too.
Hey, have you noticed that you are now reading the last part of the best monoculars for bird watching article?
If you don’t mind, I would like to introduce you to another great product.
I know above all the monoculars are great and have their own unique features.
But I really couldn’t hold myself back from reviewing this one, Roxant Falcon monocular. It has a decent magnification of 10x.
Apart from that, there are many things that say, you should try out this one.
One finger focusing:
Because of its one-finger focusing, you don’t have to strain your hand holding the monocular. Just slide your finger across the lens to move it from object to object.
So, if you want different magnification levels for different bird species or landscapes, simply remove and replace the eyepiece with a higher magnification lens.
Besides the monocular lens, this comes with a tripod and a smartphone holder which makes it easier to view images and videos of your bird-watching adventures at any time.
Why it’s best
Above were just three unique features of Roxant, there are many more to explain.
It is easy to use, and even if you are a newbie bird watcher, you can use it without prior experience.
Aside from that, its military-grade prism gives a high-definition quality image.
I can honestly say that this monocular is great. All you have to do is mount it on a tripod, aim, and view it.
It is perfect for bird watching because you don’t have to worry about magnification levels or eye relief like with binoculars.
Plus, the smartphone holder makes viewing images and videos of your adventures much easier than ever before.
I love binoculars, but I can’t avoid monoculars. Here is why
Things to Consider Before Buying a Monocular for Bird Watching
From beginner to expert, I know how difficult it can be to find the best monoculars for bird watching. Even an experienced person makes mistakes when buying a monocular, so it is best to be extra careful before making a purchase. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind:
Whether it’s a binocular, monocular, or telescope, magnification is always a factor to consider.
A higher magnification lens will give you a better view of distant objects, while a lower magnification lens may be more suitable for close-up viewing.
But for bird-watching purposes, 8x-10x magnification is considered the best level.
Field of View
Another important consideration when buying a monocular is the field of view (FOV).
The wider the FOV, the more items you can see at once without having to cross your eyes.
What’s great about a monocular with wide FOVs is that it is perfect for bird watching because oftentimes, birds fly in formations or groupings and therefore have multiple targets across their field of view.
When looking through a monocular, it’s important to find an eyepiece lens with enough eye relief so that your eyes are not cramped or strained while watching.
Many monoculars come with two eyepiece lenses – one high magnification lens and one low magnification lens, which can be switched between using the included tool.
However, some monoculars lack this option, and you will need to purchase an additional eyepiece lens separately if necessary.
Weight and size
I always look for a monocular that is lightweight and compact.
Some of the best monoculars on the market are made from lightweight, durable materials, so you don’t have to worry about them falling apart after a few uses.
You won’t believe how many bird species are visible at night, including some of the most difficult to see during the day.
However, a monocular with night vision capabilities will allow you to view these animals in low-light conditions with clarity.
Ease of use
Managing a monocular can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with them.
Some monoculars come with a tripod mount or tripod collar that makes it easier to keep the scope stable while you watch.
Avoid the type of monocular that require you to manually adjust the magnification lens- this can be difficult and time-consuming.
So these are some of the things you need to keep in mind when choosing a monocular for bird watching.
With these factors in mind, hopefully, this will help you find the best monocular for your needs.
However, we are not done yet; let’s now answer some of your questions.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
Which one is better for bird watching- Monocular Vs Binoculars?
Which one is best for bird watching will vary depending on your individual needs and preferences.
However, some monoculars generally offer a higher level of magnification than binoculars, making them better suited for viewing smaller objects close up.
They are also typically less bulky and easier to carry around.
This makes them a great choice if you’re looking for an easy way to get started birding.
Do I need to buy an expensive monocular for bird watching?
Of course not, but one true fact is a low-quality monocular will do much damage to your eyesight.
So don’t be afraid to invest in a good quality monocular if you’re serious about bird watching.
There are plenty of affordable models available that offer great quality and performance.
Which type of monocular is best: compact or large-aperture?
I will choose compact monocular over large aperture, that’s because compact monoculars are smaller, easier to carry, and fit in your pocket.
A large aperture monocular offers more magnification, but it can be bulky and difficult to take along with you when bird watching.
To sum it up, the monoculars we talked about are some of the best products for bird watching.
They have the power to make you notice every tiny detail in a bird’s body language and movement.
The only thing that you will have to worry about is which one to buy.
We suggest trying them out before making a decision since they all have their perks and flaws.
Which one was the best monoculars for bird watching above? Do share in the comments below.