Recommended Products

Yes, I get a small commission from most of these items if you purchase through these links. Your price is the same.

Nevertheless, I chose these because they are great products, not because they have a good commission. You'll find low-priced, and even free, product recommendations here. I also tell you how to purchase good products from a bricks-and-mortar store if not available through online purchase.

I'll add to these recommendations as I get more good experiences with them.

Please: If you purchase any of these items please leave a comment for me and others to know if you are satisfied or not. Thank you.

My hummingbird feeder is the More Birds--Ruby
Hummingbird Feeders & Miscellaneous

Here's the hummingbird feeder that I have and like. 10 ounce capacity is small so that it empties in 3 days with 1-2 hummingbirds, and I can clean it frequently. Very easy to clean with wide mouth screw-on base. Does not drip or leak. Ant moat. Want larger? 30 ounce and 7 port feeder (link will take you to Amazon) by same manufacturer. Ruby, Garnet, and Big Gulp sizes. This long-handled bottle brush (link to Amazon) should work to clean.

Even if your hummingbird feeder comes with an ant moat you may want extras for other feeders. This 2-pack is made of stainless steel:

It may seem silly, but this Hummingbird Swing is actually a useful device! Dominant hummingbirds sit on a perch near the feeder to guard it. My dominant hummingbird sits on a big leaf, hidden from my view from inside the house. Why not hang this perch where you can get a better view of the bird on its sentinel perch? Makes a great gift!

My personal binoculars are the Nikon Monarch 7 8x42

See my articles:

In general, you get what you pay for. A higher price means a better quality. All these, though, were chosen with my guidelines for what makes a good birding binocular: 8x magnification (one Bushnell Legend 10x model, to replace the very fine Bushnell Legend L Ultra 8x42 that seems to not be made anymore), wide field of view (>390 feet @ 1000 yards), close focus (<8 feet), long eye relief for eyeglass wearers (>17 mm), and light weight (<26 ounces). When possible they have the best BaK-4 prisms with phase correction and dielectric mirror coating, and ED glass that is fully multicoated. After that, it's the reputation for quality. All these are well-known manufacturers, most with no-fault lifetime replacement warranties.

These are the best birding binoculars in their price range. There are many excellent birding binoculars in the $500-1000 range, too, and they go up in price above $2500. But most birders will be happy with the $500 models here (and most people couldn't tell the difference between these and the higher priced models). [See the Binocular buying guide referenced above.]

[List updated January 2020]

Under $500
Vortex Viper HD 8x42  (check price on Amazon)
Nikon Monarch 7 8x42  (check price on Amazon)  This is the one I bought for myself recently!

My Review of Nikon Monarch 7 8x42

Under $300
Celestron Trailseeker ED 8x42  (check price on Amazon)

Under $200
Wingspan SkyView Ultra HD 8x42  (check price on Amazon)
Bushnell Legend Ultra 10x42  (check price on Amazon)

Under $150
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x42  (check price on Amazon)

My review of the Celestron Nature DX ED 8x42

I recently bought these Celestron Nature DX ED to review


National Geographic. Best field guide for birds of North America. 7th Edition, 2017.

Yes, the Sibley field guide is great, too. But don't order online or you'll likely get the wrong printing. Go to a book store to make sure you get the 4th printing (2017) of the 2nd Edition of the Sibley Guide to Birds. The first few printings of the 2nd Edition (2014) were messed up (colors too dark and saturated, text too small and faint).

National Geographic Backyard Birds. Best backyard bird identification guide. 2nd Edition 2019. Likely to show most of the birds in your backyard no matter where you live in the United States (except Hawaii).

National Geographic Birding Essentials. 2007. Tools, techniques, and tips to become a better birder. Highly recommended. Every birder of every level should own Birding Essentials.


eBird Free and powerful real-time online checklist program. Visit the eBird webpage. Get the free app for your phone that allows you to add birds from the field as you see them, while tracking your route and time.

Read my eBird tutorial for determining the common birds near your home during each week of the year!

Bird Feeders

This feeder frustrates squirrels so that they give up and let the birds have it to themselves! Heavy squirrels trigger the closing of the feeder ports. Metal so the squirrels can't gnaw through. This has 1.3 pound seed capacity. Best for black oil sunflower and smaller seeds.

Here's a sturdy Thistle Feeder to get you started. Attracts goldfinches and siskins. Holds up to 0.7 pounds of Niger seed. All metal. Rain hood and tray to catch spilled seeds and seed husks.

Start with 3 pounds of NyjerⓇ thistle seed. Niger seed has a shorter shelf life, so I recommend buying in smaller quantities. Birds will likely not eat niger seed saved over from the previous season. At least start with this smaller 3 pound bag to get your feeder started, before buying the 10 pound bag, which is a better price per pound (except if it gets too old and the birds won't eat it).

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My review: Celestron Nature DX ED binoculars for birding

Is the Celestron Nature DX ED 8x42 binocular any good for bird watching? My personal opinion, after buying and using them for some time is y...