Birder's Guide

NOV 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 7 of 43

6 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2016 Canon PowerShot SX50 HS This little camera and others like it are hen I started birding in the early 1980s, I didn't use binoculars. But it wouldn't be quite accurate to say that I didn't use optics. I had a camera—a small, square one that yielded awful results. With that little camera, I carefully stalked the birds at my feeder and occasionally got quasi-recognizable prints of chickadees and woodpeckers. Nev- er mind Black-capped vs. Carolina or Downy vs. Hairy; what I mean is, you could tell that one print depicted a chickadee or chickadee-like bird, the other a pied woodpecker of some sort. I gave up. It wasn't worth it. I soon enough started birding with binocu- lars. And for the next 30-plus years, that's pretty much how I birded. Sure, I acquired a spotting scope along the way. I carried pen and paper with me in the field, too, and a field guide was usually nearby. But those things were extras. The one constant, essential object in my possession was a pair of binoculars. Birding without binoculars would have made as much sense as playing hockey without a hockey stick. I still go birding with binoculars. But I'm once again using a camera. Like the one I used as a kid, it's small and squar- ish. Unlike my old camera, though, this new one yields pretty satisfactory results—so much so that I find myself using my camera more than my binoculars. Of late, my binoculars have W Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

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