Birdwatching Gear and Supplies You Never Knew You Needed

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Go beyond binoculars and field guides and ramp up your game with the coolest new bird watching gear and birding supplies.

OK, let’s be honest… you don’t need any of these birding supplies 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. 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 supplies, Moshi's gray winter touchscreen gloves allow users to check their digital field guide while birding.moshi.com

Winter Touchscreen Gloves

Moshi Digits touchscreen gloves allow you to access the Merlin app without chilly fingers. The grip pattern makes it easier to hold binoculars or a more traditional camera, too.

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birding supplies, Thermacell's portable mosquito repeller keeps bugs away while hiking or birding.

Portable Mosquito Repeller

Out in the field, Thermacell’s portable mosquito repeller holds off insects without sticky or smelly bug sprays. It’s a battery, cord and DEET-free, making it safer for birds and wildlife.

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Plant mosquito-repelling plants in your garden to keep even more bugs away.

A smart bird feeder with a built-in camera to snap photos of visitors.mybirddock.com

Smart Bird Feeder

Never miss a visitor with the BirdDock smart bird feeder. The kit comes with the camera, PVC feeder and a smartphone app. When a bird swoops in, you’ll get a notification and can view the bird on your phone.

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A binocular and camera harness that redirects the item's weight off the wearer's neck.amazon.com

Binocular or Camera Harness

Oufabe’s binocular strap isn’t the latest technology when it comes to birding supplies, but it’s a game-changer. It takes the pressure off your neck, distributing the weight across your shoulders.

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Birding Gadgets Gosky MonocularVia Amazon.com

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. 

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Via Amazon.com

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.

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Birding Gadgets BackpackVia Amazon.com

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 supplies.

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field notebookVia Amazon.com

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.

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Birding Gadgets Water WigglerVia Amazon.com

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!

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

Via Amazon.com

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!

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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.