Superbowl of Birding

Winter birding at Plum Island with Joppa Flats Education Center

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Lead Sponsor—Zeiss

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Superbowl XIV—January 28, 2017

Winter is a wonderful time to bird in northeastern Massachusetts and southeastern New Hampshire. In celebration of this season, the Joppa Flats hosts the Superbowl of Birding event every January.

This is a unique competition to find the greatest number of species and to earn the greatest number of points based on the rarity of the birds recorded. The Zeiss Joppa Cup is awarded to the team that collects the most points by the end of the specified 12-hour birding day. Strategy and planning are essential in order to win this competition.

The event consists of activities targeted for all levels of birders. Expert birders can compete for a number of awards, including the Zeiss Joppa Cup, Essex County Award, or Rockingham County Award. Teams with young birders 18 years old or younger can vie for the Seekers Award. The Fledgling Award encourages young families to participate.

Prize Categories

  • The Zeiss Joppa Cup: Grand prize for the team with the greatest number of points
  • Director's Award: Greatest number of species
  • Essex County Award: Most points in Essex County
  • Rockingham County Award: Most points in Rockingham County
  • Parker River NWR Award: Most points on the refuge
  • Sitting Duck Award: Award for the greatest number of species tallied from a fixed point
  • Seekers Award: Award for the first team to complete the special Seekers checklist
  • Fledgling Award: Award for the first team to complete the special Fledgling checklist
  • Newbies Award: Award for the greatest number of points tallied by any team with 2 or more members 18 years of age or younger
  • Lifer Award: Participant who sees the most new life birds during the competition

Superbowl of Birding XIII (2016)

Winners of the Zeiss Joppa Cup: Belichukars, Lauren Kras (Captain) © Susan Carlson
Winners of the Zeiss Joppa Cup: Belichukars, Lauren Kras (Captain) © Susan Carlson

The Superbowl of Birding XIII was held on an uncharacteristically warm January 30, 2016. Twenty-three teams, comprising over 100 participants, competed for prizes in eight categories.

The Joppa Cup was won by the Belichukars team with 198 points. The Director’s Award went to the Blue-gray Passcatchers with 87 species. Highlights included Cackling Goose, Redhead, Parasitic Jaeger, and Red-headed Woodpecker.

Prize

Points

Species

Team Name

Team Captain

Zeiss Joppa Cup 198 88 Belichukars Lauren Kras
Director's Cup 192 87 Blue-gray Passcatchers Vin Zollo
Essex Co. Excels Award 190 86 Return of the Great Auks David Bates 
Rockingham Co. Rocks Award 137 70 NH 4th and Longspurs Steve Mirick
Parker River NWR Award 63 73 Soaring Raptor Kids Etienne Marchione
Seekers Award (29 of 30 species) 114 65 Snowy Howls Deb Mauer
NewBies Award 147 74 Ornitheologians Dick Wright
Lifer Award (Isabel Rasmussen with 24) 92 54 Ipswich River Robins Cori Brauer & Angela Walsh