How has Modern Technology Affected Birding?
There are very few hobbies out there that modern technology has not yet touched and birding is no exception.
13:17 09 June 2017
No longer is it a pursuit that involves only finding and watching sandpipers and Blue Jays in their natural habitat; modern day birders can now capture those precious and rare moments in their cameras from a distance that’s far enough for the birds to never even register their presence. Moreover, in addition to becoming advanced, birding tech has also become so much more affordable. If you are wondering what technology we are talking about exactly, we will now be taking a look at some of the most useful tech for birders.
As the most important tool of the bird watcher, binoculars might be an ancient invention, but the modern day products are light years ahead of their predecessors. If you are new to bird watching, you might find the following pointers useful.
· If you can, go for an 8x32 or something close to that size
· The first number represents the magnification and the second number denotes the diameter of the lens
· Higher powered binoculars tend to be too heavy for long use
· More zoom means a narrower field of view as well
If you are wondering what is digiscoping, know that it is one of the latest innovations in the field of photography and it’s perfect for bird watching. The idea is to take a digital camera or a phone camera and combine it with a powerful telescope (typically 20X – 80X) or a pair of binoculars to click images that are way beyond the reach of a normal camera. It makes for a more affordable solution as compared to full-blown, professional D-SLR cameras and their heavy and an expensive set of lenses. With the right equipment from Phone Skope, not only will you be able to click those bar-tailed godwits and griffon vultures, but it is even possible to indulge in a bit of astrophotography.
Available both on Android and iOS, Merlin Bird ID is an amazing application that will help you identify an unknown species in seconds. All you need to do is answer five simple questions regarding the details of the bird, the location, etc. It’s a free application and doesn’t exactly have a very extensive database at the moment, but if you are willing to pay a few bucks, there are so many useful applications for both the experienced and the amateur birder that you will most likely never need to carry a physical guide ever again.
The best part about how technology has affected bird watching is that it has improved the scenario for both parties. Birders and nature photographers can now watch and photograph birds and other wild animals from a safe distance, without disturbing their natural habitat and lifestyle in any way. Also, since the available technology is becoming cheaper every year, the joys of exploring and capturing nature at its best have now become accessible to a large number of people.
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