Best Bird Watching Spotting Scope Under $300

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Prior to taking my birdwatching to the next level, I didn’t even know what a bird spotting scope was. Only after I starting researching how to see birds more clearly, did I come across the need to find a spotting scope, and I set my eye (pun intended) on the best bird watching spotting scope under $300.

Why a spotting scope?

I found it to be a fantastic option over binoculars.

This is mainly due to a scope’s clear magnification capabilities as well as the improved field of vision.

Also…

the right scope has picture taking functionality, allowing you to capture those precious images in a digital format!

Below, I put together a listing of the best bird watching spotting scope under $300, a list consisting of the best selling scopes on Amazon selling for under $300.

Top 5 Best Selling Bird Watching Spotting Scope Under $300

BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 1
Gravitude 20-60x80mm HD Spotting Scope with Tripod and Carry Case – BAK 4 Prism Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Astronomy – Waterproof Fog Proof - Phone Adapter and Clicker
  • 【𝗦𝗘𝗘 𝗕𝗨𝗟𝗟𝗘𝗧 𝗛𝗢𝗟𝗘𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗕𝗜𝗥𝗗𝗦 𝗙𝗥𝗢𝗠 𝗟𝗢𝗡𝗚 𝗥𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗘】The Raptor HD offers powerful magnification...
  • 【𝗘𝗡𝗝𝗢𝗬 𝗕𝗥𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗦𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗣 𝗜𝗠𝗔𝗚𝗘𝗦 𝗢𝗙 𝗖𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗥𝗙𝗨𝗟 𝗪𝗜𝗟𝗗𝗟𝗜𝗙𝗘】Fully Multi-Coated Lenses...
  • 【𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗙𝗘𝗖𝗧 𝗚𝗜𝗙𝗧 𝗪𝗜𝗧𝗛 𝗦𝗟𝗘𝗘𝗞 𝗖𝗔𝗥𝗥𝗬 𝗖𝗔𝗦𝗘 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗔𝗖𝗖𝗘𝗦𝗦𝗢𝗥𝗜𝗘𝗦】Each high power...
  • 【𝗥𝗨𝗚𝗚𝗘𝗗 𝗪𝗘𝗔𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗢𝗙 𝗗𝗘𝗦𝗜𝗚𝗡 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗔𝗟𝗟 𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗗𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦】Nitrogen Purged Optics and...
  • 【𝗙𝗨𝗟𝗟 𝗟𝗜𝗙𝗘𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘 𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗩𝗜𝗧𝗨𝗗𝗘 𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗥𝗔𝗡𝗧𝗬】You have several choices when purchasing a spotting scope, know that we are...
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 2
CREATIVE XP 2021 Upgraded HD Spotting Scope with Tripod 20-60x80mm - BAK 4 Prism Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting Hunting Astronomy Bird Watching - 100% Waterproof Shockproof IP67 - Phone Adapter
977 Reviews
CREATIVE XP 2021 Upgraded HD Spotting Scope with Tripod 20-60x80mm - BAK 4 Prism Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting Hunting Astronomy Bird Watching - 100% Waterproof Shockproof IP67 - Phone Adapter
  • While Other High-End Spotting Scopes get blurry at higher zoom, can’t focus smoothly or their eye relief is too small, our HD Spotting Scope offers bright & clear viewing even at 60X magnification...
  • Crisp Image, Easy to Zoom & Focus Quickly – You want to see your bullet holes from 300 yards away, enjoy Jupiter’s stripes and moons, follow closely a Gull Billed Tern in flight or a mother bear...
  • Our Mission is High-End Optics at an Affordable Price– CREATIVE XP is an American family business, and all our products are tested & developed by optics experts. The GlassHawk Scope is nitrogen...
  • A Perfect Gift with All Accessories– If you are looking for an innovative gift for a someone loved, the GlassHawk will get anyone excited. With an 80mm Objective Lens and 60x zoom, you can see the...
  • We Value Your Priorities – The CREATIVE XP GlassHawk is designed to last forever with a non-slip rubber cover, nitrogen filling & sturdy eyepiece. Use it for Target Shooting, Hunting, Stargazing,...
BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 3
SVBONY SV46 Spotting Scope with Tripod HD Dual Focus 20-60x80 Zoom IPX7 Waterproof Long Range Angled Telescope for Bird Watching Hunting Archery Range
  • Zoom spotting scope with large eyepiece:variable from 20x to 60x magnification;makes it easy to zoom in onto your target. HD 23mm big eyepiece and 45 degree angled eyepiece ergonomic allows more...
  • BAK4 prism and fully multi coated lens:80mm objective lens with 9pcs/6groups lens increase light transmission;deliver bright;clear;crisp images even in low-light conditions;perfect for target ,...
  • Dual focus special design bird watching telescope: for quickly achieving and clarifying the image;the quick focusing wheel for quickly basic clarity;the slow focusing wheel for more elaborate...
  • IPX7 waterproof shooting scope;enables the scope to withstand the toughest environments; High quality rubber outer layer;non-slip;shockproof and easy to grip;and provides lasting protection;the...
  • Hunting spotting scope with tripod special 4 sections tripod;4-sections aluminum alloy legs with quick release locks;satisfying your wanted height from 17" to 54" when shooting;There are wide range of...
BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 4
Gosky 2019 Updated Newest Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag - BAK4 Angled Scope for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery (Phone Mount+SLR Mount Compatible with Canon)
395 Reviews
Gosky 2019 Updated Newest Spotting Scope with Tripod, Carrying Bag - BAK4 Angled Scope for Target Shooting Hunting Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery (Phone Mount+SLR Mount Compatible with Canon)
  • Gosky Updated Newest 20-60x80 Spotting Scope - Variable 20x to 60x magnification and dynamic lens focusing system brings better optics, more stable images and easier focusing power. It’s the best...
  • Fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens provides a field of view at 82.9-48ft/1000yards. The quality BAK4 Porro prism optics increases light transmission and make your view brighter, clearer...
  • Durable Magnalium Framework and Rubber Armor - Its tight fitting protection makes it usable to withstand the toughest weather conditions. The shock-absorbing rubber armor for maximum protection. And...
  • Waterproof Design: O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating the scope for reliable performance in all environments. Nitrogen gas purging delivers further waterproof performance
  • Full range of accessories: A phone digiscoping adapter for smartphone, T-ring and M42 T mount for Canon camera included enable you to take photos and videos by smartphone or camera. A tripod provides...
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 5
Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope – 20 to 60x80mm Zoom Eyepiece – Multi-Coated Optics for Bird Watching, Wildlife, Scenery and Hunting – Waterproof and Fogproof – Includes Soft Carrying Case
865 Reviews
Celestron – Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope – 20 to 60x80mm Zoom Eyepiece – Multi-Coated Optics for Bird Watching, Wildlife, Scenery and Hunting – Waterproof and Fogproof – Includes Soft Carrying Case
  • ULTIMA ANGLED SPOTTING SCOPE: The outdoor enthusiast’s choice is our great all-around spotting scope with an 80mm objective lens and a 45° viewing angle. Perfect for observing nature and...
  • INCLUDES ESSENTIALS FOR BETTER VIEWING: Celestron Ultima 80 includes an extended tripod mounting plate, a zoom eyepiece with an integrated T-adapter for digiscoping, a carrying case, an eyepiece lens...
  • MULTI-COATED OPTICS: Every lens surface is coated multiple times with anti-reflective coatings to improve the color and contrast of images and maximize brightness, so you can enjoy brighter and...
  • SHARP ZOOM EYEPIECE FUNCTION: Our Ultima 80 Spotting Scope features a large focus dial, allowing you to bring your subject into razor-sharp focus before it moves away. The included zoom eyepiece helps...
  • UNBEATABLE WARRANTY AND CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Buy with confidence from the world’s #1 telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a two-year warranty and unlimited access to...

Though binoculars are a fine tool for bird watching, a number of serious bird watchers prefer to invest in spotting scopes, finding that the range and precise focus of a scope is more ideal for spotting birds than a standard pair of binoculars.

Best Bird Watching Scopes

The best bird watching spotting scope under $300 comes in a variety of styles and prices. Some scopes are smaller and weigh less making them ideal for hiking, while others are heavy-duty and better for a stationary day of bird watching. These factors are important to consider when choosing your spotting scope

The wide variety of scopes available make finding the right fit easy enough, regardless of your preference. The real challenge when choosing the perfect scope, however, is finding a scope that has all of the features you desire while staying within your price range.

Scopes are generally more expensive than binoculars, even the scopes on the less expensive end of the scale, but there are options that won’t break the bank. If the price is not a concern for you, then you may take your pick from the wide variety of top-rated spotting scopes on the market, but if you are looking to invest in a quality scope for a reasonable price then consider the best bird watching spotting scope under $300 listed above.

Before we dive into which bird watching spotting scopes are best on a budget, let’s break down some of the key differences between binoculars and scopes along with the differences between different styles of scopes on the market.

Differences between scopes and binoculars

Two of the key reasons a bird watcher may choose to invest in a spotting scope over binoculars are distance and field of vision (FOV). If you want to compare pricing, check out our post featuring the best binoculars for birdwatching under $100 here.

Longer distances

Spotting scopes can magnify at a much longer distance, bringing images at extreme distances into crystal clear focus. This capability broadens the potential for spotting and identifying birds at greater distances.

Field of view

Another difference between scopes and binoculars is the field of view (FOV). Scopes have a more precise field of view makes narrowing in one specific target much easier, eliminating the distractions of the surrounding objects that would otherwise have been inside the field of view through binoculars.

Primary Features Found In Spotting Scopes

Now that we have addressed the primary differences between spotting scopes and binoculars, let’s address the features that define different brands and styles of spotting scopes. All spotting scopes are made with the same general features, a strong housing with an adjustable lens for magnifying the desired image. Within this standard framework, there are key differences to note.

Fixed Lens or Zoom

When shopping for your scope be sure to decide ahead of time whether you want your scope to zoom or remain fixed. In most cases, bird watchers prefer a scope that can zoom. This allows the watcher to locate the bird from a wider field of view, then zoom in for a closer look.

Close Focusing

Some scopes have the ability to close focus on an item, enhancing the clarity and overall image. This feature is often sought after by us bird watchers because we are after the details. While close focusing is not necessary, the peace of mind that comes from knowing you won’t miss any of the action makes close focusing worth considering.

Tripods

Due to the intense magnification of scopes, the slightest tremor of a hand can dizzy the image which is why having a tripod is highly recommended for stability when searching for birds with a scope. Tripods come in a number of sizes, and deciding which tripod is best for you is important to consider as you are deciding on a scope.

When searching for the right tripod, consider the type of bird watcher you are, are you more active or stationary? For bird watchers who prefer to sit in one spot, a short sturdy tripod will do fine. For bird watchers who are always on their feet and prefer to chase down their target from a standing position, a long lightweight tripod will be much more ideal.

Stationary vs. Active

Recognizing the type of bird watcher you are is essential when choosing a scope because hiking all day with a heavy scope on your back can make or break the experience. Some scopes are large and heavy, making them difficult to carry for long distances and more ideal for a day spent in one spot scanning for birds. A lighter scope is more ideal for bird watchers who enjoy walking through the wilderness and spying birds on the move.

How To Choose A Spotting Scope

The below video contains good advice on what to look for in choosing a spotting scope and is a good resource for you to consider when buying the best bird watching spotting scope under $300.

Bird Watching Spotting Scope FAQs

Will these scopes fit any tripod?

Generally, yes. Most tripods have a universal mount that matches the mount on most scopes. Always good to double-check before purchasing to make sure that the thread on your tripod will align with your scopes mount.

How do I connect my camera to a birdwatching spotting scope?

Some scopes will come with an adapter but most require you to purchase one separately. Research the different kinds of adapters and make sure you pick one that matches your scope and your camera.

Can I find the best bird watching spotting scope under $300?

Yes, above we list 5 options on Amazon for good quality spotting scopes under $300.

How should I store my scope?

Most scope providers will also provide lenses and coverings for unique scopes. It is always best practice to keep your scope in its case with the lense one whenever it is not in use to protect it from dust and scratching.

What is the best level of zoom for bird watching?

There are a number of zooms that work well for bird watching but 20-40X and 20-60X are consistently effective for quality bird watching.

Which birding scope is better, angled or straight?

This is a matter of preference, but the general answer is that an angled scope will be more comfortable for extended use. The benefit to an angled scope is that you don’t have to crane your neck when looking through the scope.

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