Monday, August 07, 2006

Bins not just for birders

The 2006 Outside Buyer's Guide includes an essay called "Zoom: Why should birders have all the fun. Magnify your world view." Michael Perry begins, "I am the Johnny Appleseed of binoculars. I plant them everywhere. For this reason, I have never allowed myself a high-quality set, which would be the moral equivalent of allowing Ted Nugent to baby-sit your prize-winning poodle."

Perry says his mom gave him a binocular when he was four or five: "She wanted me to aquaint myself with the gentle wonders of nature--in this case, a blue jay repeatedly mugging chickadees on the bird feeder out in the front lawn. I was fascinated by how the binoculars drew the birds in and charged them with life, how I culd see the fluff of each feather and the murderous gleam in the blue jay's right eyeball."

He also describes using inexpensive compact bins during other activities. I enjoyed seeing an outdoor adventure mag publish a piece that might encourage enthusiasts to look at birds while they're outdoors doin' their thing.

Blue Jay courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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