spotting scope

How to use a Spotting Scope for Birding? 5 Expert Tips!

For most birders, one of their favorite tools is the spotting scope. While they do offer some advantages over other instruments, using them requires a bit of training on the part of a bird watcher. In this article, you’ll learn how to use a spotting scope for birding.

What is a Spotting Scope?

A spotting scope consists of two parts; the main part of the scope, which is usually made from sturdy metal and has several smaller tubes which connect with the main part, and the article, which contains a lens and a crosshair, used to calculate the trajectory of the bird.

The size of the main part of the scope will depend on what you need to be able to see, which in turn will depend on how far away you want to shoot the bird. Most spotting scopes come with a rangefinder, but some models are even fitted with laser rangefinders.

The most important thing when using a spotting scope for birding is how to use it properly.

How To Use A Spotting Scope? 5 Expert Tips!

Spotting scope is a tool that can be used to help see things in the distance. It is like binoculars but with much more magnification. A spotting scope is typically mounted on a tripod, and it uses an eyepiece that has been specifically designed for this type of equipment. 

Spotting scopes are most often used by hunters, bird watchers, photographers, military personnel and other people who need to see distant objects without being close enough to disturb them.

Using one correctly takes skill, but the best thing about this piece of equipment is that it can be learned with some practice.

Here are some tips on how to use one effectively: – Use the right equipment: You will need a tripod with leveling head and good quality spotting scope.

Step #1 – Straight vs angled

A straight viewing scope is better for those who want an easier time looking at the target quickly because it has a wider field of view than an angled one does. 

It also provides more natural vision than an angled scope which some people may find uncomfortable or difficult to focus on.

Step #2 – Use eye-cups if you wear eyeglasses

If you wear glasses, then you may be used to seeing a blurry world. This is because the space between your eye and the lens of your eyeglasses can make it difficult for you to see objects up close. The space where light enters your eyes is called “eye relief.”

To solve this problem, eye-cups are designed to help increase eye relief when wearing glasses. They work by pressing against the nose bridge so that they fill in any empty spaces on either side of the lenses.

If you don’t have enough eye relief, it can cause headaches and blurred vision. The best way to figure out if you need eye cups is to fold down or twist down the eyecups until you get a perfect view of your work without any distortion.

Step #3 – Set the magnification level

The first thing you will want to do is set  the magnification level. It’s usually best to start at a low power setting so that you can get an overview of your surroundings without having to spend too much time on each object. 

Many people have a spotting scope and are not sure how to use it. The first thing you need to do is determine what magnification you want the scope at when using it.

For example, if you’re trying to find out what type of bird is in your backyard, then set the spotting scope for low magnification – like 10x or 20x – so that you can see more detail. You may also be able to make out some color patterns this way as well!

Step #4 – Adjust the focus for sharpness

After finding the right location, zoom in on the target with maximum sharpness by adjusting the focus ring until you have an image that is sharp. 

*Adjust the focus for maximum sharpness by turning or twisting the focusing ring until it achieves an ultra-sharp focus (the optics will not be able to be sharpened any more than that).  

Step #5 – A tripod keeps a spotting scope steady

A tripod is a stable support that will keep your spotting scope steady. If the spotting scope moves, it becomes more difficult to find your target. The optics are not as accurate when you use one hand to hold up the device and the other hand operates the zoom.

When using a tripod, both hands can be used for aiming purposes, and they are much less likely to shake with nerves in this scenario.

The beauty of using a tripod is that it can be used in any terrain; from open fields to rocky cliff sides, the tripod will work as well as it does on flat surfaces. 

There are many styles of tripods available for use with spotting scopes, including those that have an integrated carry handle.

Fairly Inexpensive

The last, and probably the most important, the advantage of using a spotting scope for birding is the expense of the equipment.

These scopes are fairly inexpensive. While some of them can be purchased at some sporting retail stores, I found a really nice deal online on Amazon on a spotting scope for less than $100.