Birdwatching Equipment and Gear You Never Knew You Needed

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Go beyond binoculars and field guides and ramp up your game with the coolest new birdwatching equipment and birding gear.

OK, let’s be honest… you don’t need any of these birding gadgets or fancy birdwatching gear to be a good birder. All you really need is a good pair of binoculars and a field guide you love (whether it be paper or digital). If you enjoy taking photos, you’ll also want a nice camera that you feel comfortable using. So, please, if you’re new to birding, start with those three, and come back here later.

But if you’re ready to step things up, or if you love playing with new gizmos, this list is for you. We’re talking night-vision monoculars so you can track down all the owls, and motion-activated trail cams so you never miss a backyard visitor. We’ve got ways to up your smartphone game to get better shots than ever before, a backpack to protect your optics, and a hoodie to protect you from bug bites. None of these birding gadgets or gear are essential – but they’re all fun and useful. They make ideal gifts for birders and outdoor lovers, or splurges for yourself. So go on… take your birding to a new level!

Birding Gadgets Gosky MonocularVia

Monocular With Smartphone Holder

Digiscoping has been the hot new thing in birding for the last few years. Put simply, it’s using your digital camera or smartphone to take photos through a spotting scope. The setups for these can be basic or elaborate, so get started with this monocular and smartphone holder by Gosky. You can use the 12 x 50 monocular on its own, or attach your phone with the holder to take photos. It’s best used with a tripod to hold it steady, but the monocular fits any standard tripod, so you can use one you already have. 

Shop Now


Smartphone Telephoto Lenses

Smartphone cameras get better every year, and you might often find yourself opting to leave your larger camera at home. Not all smartphone cameras offer great zoom options, though, so a little telephoto lens kit can be a great investment. Throw it in your pocket and you’ll have it on hand when you need it. This kit even comes with a small tripod to make your shots even steadier.

Shop Now

Birding Gadgets BackpackVia

Camera Backpack

Whether you carry a high-end camera with lots of accessories, or just a good quality point-and-shoot, you don’t want it rolling around in the bottom of a backpack with your banana and water bottle. But carrying a backpack and a camera case is just too much. Compromise with a camera backpack boasting built-in camera storage. The padded sturdy pockets are also great for holding binoculars. Additional pockets can hold your snacks, field guide, and other assorted birding paraphernalia.

Shop Now

field notebookVia

All-Weather Field Notebook

At first glance, this all-weather notebook doesn’t seem high-tech. But this isn’t just another notebook. The paper is weather-proof, so you can write on it under any conditions using just a regular pencil. The inside covers feature bird anatomy diagrams and the Code of Birding Ethics as handy reminders.

Shop Now

Birding Gadgets Water WigglerVia

Water Wiggler

Every backyard birder needs one of these in their bird bath. Birds dislike standing water, which tends to grow stagnant and can harbor disease. This solar-powered water wiggler keeps the water in your bird bath on the move, making it more tempting to your feathered friends. Bonus: Moving water is less likely to to encourage mosquitoes to lay eggs!

Shop Now

Check out the best bird baths and fountains for attracting birds.


Trail Camera

Ever wonder what’s visiting your backyard feeders when you’re not around? This motion-activated digital trail camera will tell you! It’s easy to set up and runs on 8 AA alkaline batteries (or you can buy an AC adapter to plug it in). It works both day and night (using infrared so it won’t scare away the wildlife), taking photos or short videos. Now you’ll always know who’s been eating up all your birdseed!

Shop Now

Birding Gadgets Night VisionVia

Night Vision Monocular

Love looking for owls? A little night vision might be just the thing. Infrared technology can cost an arm and a leg, but this little gadget is reasonably priced for beginners. It even allows you to take photos and record video. You can adjust the monocular to accommodate the amount of available light, and zoom in or out as needed.

Shop Now

Choose the best birdhouses to attract more birds.

bug proof hoodieVia Toad & Co

De-Bug Insect-Proof Clothes

Swatting away pesky mosquitoes and gnats can ruin the fun of an amazing sighting. These shirts, pants and hoodies are pre-treated with invisible Insect Shield technology.  The material also provides SPF protection.

Shop Now

Popular Videos

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find he reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.