Double-crested Cormorants have Green Eyes

My new Audubon Equinox HP 10×42 binoculars arrived yesterday so I took them to Prospect Park to try them out. I’m not sure if it was the new binoculars or the light or the unusual closeness of the cormorant, but for the first time I can remember, I noticed that the Double-crested Cormorant has green eyes.

Green-eyed Double Crested Cormorant

Cormorants are normally quite far out (scope distance) but it’s not uncommon to find one close enough to shore to get a really good look. This one was perched on a log right along the West shore of the lake where people feed the ducks and gulls. It seemed relatively unperturbed by the small number of children and dogs that pass by on a winter weekday.

I’m quite pleased with the new binoculars. They’re a clear step up from the old Audubon Equinox 8×42 I had been using. (I can now send those in for repair since the left eyecup has been falling off.) I’m not sure how much is the newness (and consequent cleanness) of the binoculars, how much is the improved optics, and how much is the 10x magnification; but these give noticeably better looks at the birds. The focus has a lot more range and precision than on my old binoculars. Yesterday I kept focusing in and out on gulls at different positions on the lake that would have all been the same focus with the 8×42’s.

10x is supposed to be harder to hold steady and spot with than 8x, but I didn’t have any trouble with that yesterday. The real test for that will be the warblers start showing up next month. Possibly I’ll get an early jump on next week’s trip to California.

The Equinox HP have a couple of other nice features compared to the previous model. The front eye covers are attached. I had lost one of them from my previous pair in the field. These two should be much harder to lose. Most importantly the front eyepieces have a middle locking position as well as all the way in and all the way out. That seems to be about the amount of eye relief I need for normal usage. I still wish someone would design a pair of binoculars that can lock the eyecups at an arbitrary position, rather than just a few fixed locations; but in the mean time these are the best I’ve seen.

One Response to “Double-crested Cormorants have Green Eyes”

  1. Ashok Khosla Says:

    Check out this pic:

    Happy to go birding with you in bay area when you come out.


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