HOME

BIRDING FAQ

BIRDING TIPS

BIRD STORIES

VIDEOS

SOFTWARE

OPTICS

BOOKSTORE

ORDER DESK

 

Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter
 

The Tao of Sticks
Stabilize Your Binocular
— with a Stick!

A humble stick has let me look up for warblers long after my arms would have failed without it. The steadiness lets me see more details, look longer and deeper into things. 

Using the StickWhenever my husband Michael and I start down a trail for some serious birding, the first thing he looks for is a stick. He says it's the perfect Taoist gadget. Simple, abundant, free. 

He picks one for each of us, just the right length and height. Long enough that I can rest my binoculars on it and look up into the canopy. Short enough that I can hold it at a slant and look straight ahead or down. Light enough to carry easily. Strong enough to use as a staff, to balance on when going down a steep bank or crossing a creek.  

Michael has become a connoisseur of sticks. He spends a long time picking a suitable fallen branch, breaking it in just the right place for length. The best sticks allow the bark to peel off to form a comfortable grip. They're often forked at the top to provide a good rest for binocular barrels. They also have branch stubs coming out part way down to support the binoculars when we're sitting on a log.

I like a stick that comes about up to my forehead. That lets me tilt the binocular up to look into treetops. If I want to look down, I put the bottom of the stick a foot or more away from my feet.

Yellow-throated WarblerA humble stick has let me watch orioles build their nests and look up for warblers long after my arms would have failed without it. The steadiness lets me see more details, look longer, deeper into nature. 

When we find sticks we especially like, we lean them against a tree at the trailhead to use again when we return, or as an offering to others.

Diane— Copyright 2007 Diane Porter

— Pictures copyright 1999-2007 Michael and Diane Porter

Birdwatching Dot Com

More Birding Tips

Home FAQ Tips Birdbaths Stories Videos Software Optics Bookstore Orders

 

 


Tips on using binoculars


Do you recognize the birds that visit your backyard?