Here's another vote for the Vortex Razor HD 11-33x50 Angled Scope. It's light and has very sharp optics.
It is at home atop a strong, lightweight carbon tripod. Mine is a Gitzo with 4 leg joints. When collapsed, it is small enough to go into a suitcase that fits into a plane's overhead bin.
I just replaced the clunky ball head that came with thr Gitzo with a Manfrotto 128RC mini video fluid head. I love it -- it is so lightweight and smooth to use. I saw a number of scope-toting folks with this head at the Space Coast Birding Festival last month.
I have carried this setup for miles. I just got a Tri-Pac and can't wait to use it in the field.
Whatever you get, be sure your wife tries the setup before you buy. Only she can judge whether it's too heavy or whether she likes the scope.
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