5 Best Birding Scopes 2021 (+Beginners Guide)

Tori Rhodes
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Bird watching is a hobby that has been gaining popularity in recent times. There are several reasons why it can be appealing. Birds are beautiful creatures and watching them in their natural habitat can be a riveting experience.

If you get hooked on the hobby, you’ll need a good pair of binoculars, a spotting scope or even a scope for your rifle.

Many bird watchers prefer to use a dedicated scope for their rifle. Although scopes for your rifle are more expensive than the other kinds of scopes, they are made to withstand extremely harsh situations and are incredibly accurate.

Finding the best birding scopes for you is a hard task, especially since there are many things to consider. First and most important is the price.

One thing that we can assure you is that the good news is that the latest technology in fiber optics has made the optical qualities of good optics much better. This is the main reason why scopes have become much more affordable.

NameCategoryProduct
CREATIVE XP Spotting ScopeBest OverallCREATIVE XP Spotting Scope
Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting ScopesBudget PickVortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes
Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting ScopesUpgrade PickVortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes

1. CREATIVE XP Spotting Scope

Our rating: 9 / 10

CREATIVE XP Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Professional spotting scope
  • 20-60x magnification range
  • BAK4 prism glass
  • Skid-proof, rubber foot and carrying case

Cons:

  • Price tag
  • Should be used on a tripod

If you are looking for a sophisticated spotting scope, then you really should go for this product from Creative.

It offers a 20-60x magnification range and BAK 4 prism glass, which is quite amazing. I found that it is amazing as it can get a very clear picture at very close range and the image looks pretty sharp and clear.

It is also pretty easy to use and is really lightweight. The only drawback is that it should be used on a tripod otherwise, there is a risk of bowing. However, there are other factors that affect fighting (such as the orientation of my face in relation to the target, the distance between the object and me, and even the wind direction).

2. Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes

Our rating: 8 / 10

Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes

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Pros:

  • 32% lighter than comparable existing models
  • Razor-sharp optical quality
  • Waterproof construction
  • Argon purging system
  • Lightweight magnesium chassis

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • Needs a tripod with it
  • Not made for big game viewing

The optical quality of this scope is nothing short of impressive. The 50mm model is razor sharp right into the edges of its field of view. The 9% increased field of view provides extra clarity over the average of 82-84 degrees. It offers an excellent eye relief at 16mm. Combine all that with a robust and ergonomic design and you have yourself a clear winner.

The Razor HD is a high-quality spotting scope at a reasonable price. It’s easy to carry out in the field due to the fact that it’s less than 1kg and can easily be mounted to a tripod.

3. Kowa 25-60x88mm TSN-883 Angled View Water Proof Spotting Scope

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kowa 25-60x88mm TSN-883 Angled View Water Proof Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and streamlined
  • Durable
  • Breathtaking clarity
  • Glass coated optics
  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Great price for such a high-quality scope

Kowa TSN-883 Angled View Waterproof Spotting Scope with 20x Eyepiece and Water/Shockproof Hard Coating is a top-quality scope for the money.

The scope is made of very high quality aluminum and is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, which makes it a great optic for all types of weather. The angled view allows for great versatility of use, particularly for checking out objects at different angles.

Kowa’s engineered prism system includes a multi-coated objective lens. The optics will produce brilliant colors, and cut through any water vapor. The optics will not scratch even if you clean your lens with harsh chemicals, and can withstand large changes in temperature.

4. Celestron – Ultima 100 Angled Spotting Scope

Our rating: 8 / 10

Celestron – Ultima 100 Angled Spotting Scope

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Pros:

  • Ideal for birding
  • Compact, portable, and lightweight
  • Rainproof, fogproof, and waterproof
  • High-quality optics

If you are a bird-watcher, a spotter, or keen on photography then here is something you have been waiting for: the perfect birding telescope that provides an unmatched picture and image precision. Its ideal image quality and magnification will make any difference when it comes to spotting and distinguishing even the smallest details in the avian creatures.

The Celestron – Ultima 100 Angled Spotting Scope is the lightweight and compact telescope that provides big magnification, helpful and lightweight design, easy-to-carry dimensions. All these features, plus an affordable price, make it the best spotting scopes for birding.

The magnification of this spotting scope can be adjusted for variegated shooting demands. So, it is definitely worthwhile for you to invest in this spotting scope for birding that has a magnification of up to 66x (focal length of 100mm), and a 90% light transmission rate.

5. Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes

Our rating: 8 / 10

Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 32% lighter than comparable existing models
  • Razor-sharp optical quality
  • Waterproof construction
  • Argon purging system
  • Lightweight magnesium chassis

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • Needs a tripod with it
  • Not made for big game viewing

The optical quality of this scope is nothing short of impressive. The 50mm model is razor sharp right into the edges of its field of view. The 9% increased field of view provides extra clarity over the average of 82-84 degrees. It offers an excellent eye relief at 16mm. Combine all that with a robust and ergonomic design and you have yourself a clear winner.

The Razor HD is a high-quality spotting scope at a reasonable price. It’s easy to carry out in the field due to the fact that it’s less than 1kg and can easily be mounted to a tripod.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best magnification for a spotting scope?

A spotting scope can usually be zoomed in for closer or farther viewing. This is known as the magnification and the best way to figure out which magnification to get is to think how you’ll be using the scope. For birding, the recommended amount of magnification can vary, but it’s usually somewhere around eight and twenty power. If you’re using the scope for something else, like hunting, you can achieve better results with higher magnification.

So, why would you want a higher magnification when watching birds?

The answer is that you won’t ever need such high magnification when watching birds. Even twenty power is quite high for bird watching. Yet the higher the magnification, the higher quality optics the spotter will have.

What is the best bird watching scope?

Before you take the plunge and buy your first scope, it helps to do a little research. Read reviews and experiences and take a look at different birding scopes. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the features available so that you can take full advantage of the scope you choose.

You can also ask your friends or join the conversation on a forum like Bird Watching USA. They are filled with experienced birders who can make valuable suggestions and offer helpful advice to novices like you.

Remember to stay away from devices that say HD or wide digital scope. Many experienced users would recommend one of the above birding scopes to you though.

How do I choose a spotting scope for birding?

When choosing a spotting scope for birdwatching you’ll have to give some thought to the kind of view you want. If you plan to be birdwatching from your backyard and you want to look at local birds, a smaller, cheaper, simple scope will work just fine. If you’re looking to get a little bit more distance and you want to roll a bit deeper into nature, then you’ll need to invest in a little more.

In general, if you just want a close-up shot of nearby birds, any sort of telescope will work, but if you’re looking for distance, you’ll want to get what is best for professional birdwatchers who have a lot of money to spend.

How good is a 20 60×60 spotting scope?

The 20 60×60 scope is definitely a great spotting scope for beginning birders because it is relatively inexpensive, fairly compact and lightweight, and easy to handle.

This scope is handy for birders who like to enjoy a hike with both a scope and binoculars. At 20x it provides an impressive range of views and close ups of trees, leaves, flowers and insects, and at 60x you can spot birds and some other wildlife species with good detail. The 20 60×60 scope is best for objects at 15 feet or less and it’s a great choice for outdoor activities.

Conclusion

Bird-watching is an extremely popular pastime that thousands of people enjoy each year. There are different tools and techniques for such activities and some of the most useful equipment you can add to your kit is a good birding scope. Fortunately, there are plenty of good options available if you’re in the market to buy one.

This article should help you save time when shopping for one as we look at the five best birding scopes available on the market today, as well as which models are the best for beginners.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
CREATIVE XP Spotting ScopeBest OverallCREATIVE XP Spotting Scope
Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting ScopesBudget PickVortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes
Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting ScopesUpgrade PickVortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scopes