Superbowl of Birding

Superbowl XV—January 27, 2018

Winter birding at Plum Island with Joppa Flats Education Center

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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 16 years old or younger can vie for the Newbies 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
  • Townie Award: Award for the greatest number of species tallied from a single municipality
  • 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 16 years of age or younger
  • Lifer Award: Participant who sees the most new life birds during the competition

Results for Superbowl of Birding XIV (2017)

Flea Flickers, winners of the Zeiss Joppa Cup for Superbowl 2017
The Flea Flickers

Joppa Flats is pleased to report another outstanding Superbowl of Birding. This year's event was held on January 28, with 24 teams and 118 participants competing.

Once again the Flea Flickers, captained by Lauren Kras, won the Zeiss Joppa Cup with a remarkable total of 212 points, including five eight-point bonus birds! All of the team names, point and species totals are listed below.

The total number of species recorded by all teams this year was a very respectable 128, including three write-in species—Greater White-fronted Goose, Redhead, and Common Yellowthroat. 

The Superbowl of Birding XV will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018. Start planning your strategy now.

Full Species List




Team Name

Zeiss Joppa Cup 212 90 Flea Flickers
Director's Cup 192 90 Blue-gray Passcatchers
Essex Co. Excels Award 163 81 Wicked Pishahs
Rockingham Co. Rocks Award 153 76 4th and Longspurs
Parker River NWR Award 146 75 Pennsylvania Coal Tits
Seekers Award 148 75 Turneverystones
NewBies Award 170 83 Ornitheologians
Lifer Award (Lizzy Zhang with 32) 111 64 Grey Ghosts

View the full results