[Tweeters] Fledgling birder asks: rainy birding? plus banded bird?

Kevin Purcell kevinpurcell at pobox.com
Sat Sep 20 19:40:47 PDT 2008

On Sep 20, 2008, at 10:20 AM, A Mackenzie wrote:

> I was out at the Montlake Fill this morning between 7:30 - 9:30am

> and didn't see any other birders there, so wondered if it was

> because of the rain -- I did have some trouble keeping drops off my

> glasses and bins, but had a small piece of chamois that helped.

> Are there products one can coat lenses with to keep raindrops off?

I don't know of any aftermarket product to do this on bins. And if
your bins have a nice multicoat on them I'm not sure I want to try.

But if you (someone) feels adventurous there are products for car
windscreens that are "supposed" to work (I think one is called Rain
Off). Perhaps worth the sacrifice of a pair of cheap bins to the
Seattle Rain Gods. Come to think of it I have a junk pair of bins I
could try (single coated).

This has been an area of recent commercial research though. Bushnell
have Rainguard (a hydrophobic coating). Zeiss have Lotutec on their
sport optics (derived from work on ophthalmic optics) and have just
licensed the Bushnell patents so there must be some overlap in their

Bushnell is supposed to be actively licensing this technology to
other companies so we may see it on other bins in the near future.

Promaster (who have a very highly regarded $500 ED bin) also have a
similar hydrophobic coating, Repellamax (who thinks these names up!).

All of these coats are supposed to make the water bead up and to
enable you to remove all the water with a single wipe of a microfiber
cloth when you need to wipe the lens (and in some cases for
lipophobic coatings greasy prints come off with a single wipe and no

For a PNW birders this might be a feature to look for in the future.
Along with webbed feet and other aquatic adaptations.

> I also saw a banded bird and am wondering what I should do when I

> see these? What observations should I make, and who should I

> report them to? This one was a White-crowned Sparrow with pink band

> on top , silver on bottom.


With a single color band (i.e. I'm presuming he didn't have color band
(s) on the other leg) he was probably part of only a small study group.

With bigger groups you'll see combinations like metal/color and color/
color on the other leg. The (conventional) way to read the bands is
top-bottom, bird's left to bird's right. In other words, if a bird
had a red band on top of a blue band on its left leg and a green band
on top of a metal band on its right leg, the combo would be: red blue/
green metal (spoken "red over blue and green over metal")
Kevin Purcell
kevinpurcell at pobox.com

More information about the Tweeters mailing list