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jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Birding 2

Length of Segment: 00:01:15

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the Wild Things. Selecting binoculars for birding can be a taunting task. There's an incredible diversity of binoculars available and the diversity begins with prices ranging from $20 to more than $1,500. Although binocular quality generally goes up with a price, a pair of $50 binoculars can serve you well. Once beyond price, there are more important things to consider. Two numbers appear on every pair of binoculars in what looks like an algebraic formula, something like 7 X 35. The first number tells you that the image you view with the binoculars is magnified seven times. The best magnification for birding binoculars is between 7X and 10X, but if you go for the higher magnification, remember that every shake of your hand is magnified, too. You've got to find the bird with your binoculars first. With lesser magnification, you will have a broad field of view, and lifting the binoculars to your eyes and pointing them in the general direction usually assures that you see the bird. With high magnification, you'll have a smaller field of view and may have to hunt for the bird before you can look at it, and by then, it may be winging its way elsewhere.

'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.

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