Monday, March 26, 2012

New Binoculars for a Young Birder!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What might inspire a young birder as much as placing a live bird in their hands? [That's my daughter Phoebe with a baby bluebird in her hands.]

Placing a brand new, high-quality binocular in their hands would probably be on top of the list.

When I think about the optics I used for the first 10 years of my bird watching, it gives me a headache (or brings back unpleasant memories of the headaches my old binocs gave me.) I've said this many times before, we are living in The Golden Age of Birding!

Think about it:
  • You can buy excellent starter binoculars for about $100.
  • You can walk into any bookstore anywhere in North American and buy a field guide to the birds (or mammals, butterflies, moths, reptiles, etc).
  • You can get bird seed and a feeder at any number of retail stores in your town.
  • You can listen to any bird song in North America on your ever-present cellphone.
  • You can get up-to-the-second info on bird sightings on the same device.
  • You can brag INSTANTLY to all your birding friends about the Bachman's sparrow at your bird bath, via social media.
I remember the first time I look at a bird through a pair of really nice binoculars. And I also am regularly reminded about the power of good optics when I loan out my extra binocs to young bird watchers on the dozens of trips I lead each year. Hearing the gasp and "WOW!" when they get a really good look at a bird—well it's a special moment because it might just be opening their eyes to a whole new world.

That's what happened to me. And if you remember the moment you sparked on birds and birding, maybe you want to help someone else enjoy that same experience.

Our friends at Leica Sport Optics have joined up with us at Bird Watcher's Digest to find a worthy young bird watcher in the United States to whom Leica will be giving a new pair of Trinovid binoculars. If you read our magazine you know that this model is a top-rated binocular, so it's no small thing to give away. It's NOT a $100 starter binocular. That's why we're calling this giveaway Leica's Great Leap Forward for a Young Birder. We think it could provide that very thing for a deserving young person who is interested in birds.

If you know a young birder who would really benefit from some new (and really nice) binoculars, won't you consider nominating them?

The winner and five runners up will also receive an autographed copy of my new book The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America.

Thank you!


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