You can have years of enjoyment with excellent binoculars costing less than $300 that will allow you to identify as many birds as those top-of-the-line ones. Check out the models included in our 2013 Best Binocular Review. Investing $30 in a field guide can provide a lifelong reference for learning about hundreds of birds in your own area and anywhere else you may go in North America. And birding locally can provide endless enjoyment and excitement as you hone your skills and continually learn more about the diversity and behavior of birds.
Read more about birding on a budget in BirdScope.
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