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Ready to take your birding adventures to the next level? To do that, you'll need more than a pair of binoculars and a rain jacket. Whether you're embarking on a full-week excursion across America or simply an afternoon hike with some PB&J sandwiches in tow, here are nine essential items you should have in your birding kit to ensure you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.

From binoculars to field guides, these tools will help you identify birds and find the best spots for spotting them. Get ready to level up your next big bird-watching adventure!

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No matter what type of birdwatching you’re doing, you’ll likely need a pair of binoculars! These can help you locate and identify birds with ease. If you’re planning a birding trip, a decent pair of binoculars is a must.

There are two main types of binoculars you can choose from.

Porro Prism Binoculars – These classic binoculars are known for their zig-zag shape. Porro prism binoculars are the ideal option for birders as they can offer you a wider field of view and enhanced clarity. You can even use them at night!

Our pick for Porro Prism Binoculars

Roof Prism Binoculars – These straight-tube binoculars were designed to be a streamlined, lightweight version of the Porro prisms. While they are compact and oftentimes waterproof, they do not offer the field of view or clarity that their predecessor does. Plus, they are known to be more expensive.

Our pick for Roof Prism Binoculars

No matter what type of binoculars you choose, make sure they are high-quality. You’ll find out quickly that cheap binoculars are rarely worth the investment.

High-Quality Camera

If you're passionate about birding, you know that having a high-quality camera is essential for capturing the best shots of your findings. But if you're new to photography, the idea of investing in a DSLR can be daunting. Luckily, there's a happy middle ground: bridge cameras. These models have integrated body-lens designs, making them perfect for beginner photographers who want to extend their birding activities into memory-gathering mode.

Our top pick for beginner photographers

Our top pick for experienced photographers

Regardless of how experienced you are when it comes to bird photography, sometimes your photos just need a little extra oomph. That’s where Birdpack lightroom presets comes in! Our deluxe package of over 120 presets will help you add the finishing touches to your birding photos, making them look even more professional.

Whether you’re documenting your adventures on Instagram or printing them out for your scrapbook, Birdpack has you covered!

Field Guide

A field guide is an essential tool for birdwatching, and there are plenty to choose from. The best bird field guides are designed with the beginner birder in mind. Look for one with full-color photos, range maps, and descriptions that are written for the non-scientist.

This will help you identify the species you see, and it will also help you identify birds in your backyard. There are several options out there, so you can choose the one that feels most comfortable to you.

If you’re a beginner birder, you might want to choose a standard guide such as the Sibley Guide to Birds or the Peterson Field Guide to Birds.

Birding App

For anyone who prefers to access information electronically while they’re out birding, a birding app is a perfect solution! You can use these apps when you’re birding or when you’re out in nature and see a bird you want to identify.

A birding app is great for beginning birders because it provides you with photos and information about the species you’re looking for, all in one convenient location. It can also help you identify birds you don’t know.

If you’re looking for an excellent birding app, make sure it’s created by an actual bird expert.

Our top picks are the Audubon Bird Guide, Merlin Bird ID, and iBird Pro.

Spotting Scope

Although it is not entirely essential, a spotting scope is another excellent tool for leveling up your birding game. If you’re birding in a high-traffic area, such as a park or forest, a spotting scope can be a good investment. It’s also good for birding in low-light situations.

A spotting scope can be helpful in birding because it allows you to get a close-up view of birds without disturbing their habitat or surrounding area. Although a spotting scope can be beneficial in certain situations, it’s not as versatile as binoculars due to its large size.

With that said, finding a spotting scope that is high-quality but also affordable can be a bit of a challenge. Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the best spotting scopes based on your price range.

Our pick for spotting scopes under $200

Our pick for spotting scopes under $500

Our pick for spotting scopes over $2,000

Bug Repellent

No matter where birding takes you, you’re going to encounter mosquitoes and other pesky insects. You can put on bug spray as much as you want, but mosquitoes will still find a way to get to you.

That’s where this electronic mosquito repeller comes in handy! With its rechargeable and portable design, you can protect yourself from mosquitos, whether you’re gathering in your backyard or venturing into the forest. It features a 20-foot radius of protection, so you can keep those pesky bugs away!

Bird Call

A bird call can be a fun addition to your kit and help you attract birds you may not have otherwise seen. With that said, you should use a call with caution. You don’t want to disturb the birds in the area so much that they decide to vacate the area in favor of somewhere else.

Our top pick for bird calls

Field Notebook

If you want to get the most out of your birding adventures, it’s a good idea to keep a field notebook. This is a great way to keep track of the species you see and how many you’ve spotted. A field notebook, or birding journal, can be as straightforward or as detailed as you want it to be. Check out our guide on how to keep a birding journal to learn more!

Our top pick for field notebooks

Waterproof Hiking Boots

Hiking boots will keep your feet warm and dry, making your birding excursions a lot more enjoyable. The best hiking boots for birding will be lightweight, waterproof, and breathable.

If you plan on doing a lot of hiking and birding, it may be a good idea to get two pairs of hiking boots. One pair can be reserved for hiking through rough or muddy terrain, and the other can be used while you’re birding. This way, your hiking boots will stay nice and clean while you’re in the field.

Our top pick for hiking boots for women

Our top pick for hiking boots for men