Originally Posted by ceasar
You need an "alpha" 7x42 to see that little bird close up. It has great depth of field, a wide (generally 8º) FOV, and a large bright 6mm exit pupil. Right now both Leica and Nikon have 7x42s in their lineup.
I use an 8x42 most of the time, particularly in the tropics. However, I generally find myself wishing for a 10x42 more frequently than 7x42, for canopy birds. I know some birders in the tropics carry scopes for canopy flocks but to me the hassle of a scope is way too high. I do occasionally carry 10x in the forest when I know I'm going to be looking for a canopy species.
I think a lot of finding birds in the tropics is knowing the behaviour of various species and groups and types of birds so that you can pick them out. That said, finding something like a perched Spadebill, Manakin, or particularly Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin even when it's within 10-15' can be maddening at times.