Joppa Flats’ ‘Semi-Superbowl’ Of Birding Set for Saturday, January 30
Michael P. O'Connor
NEWBURYPORT, MA.— Winter is a wonderful time to bird in northeastern Massachusetts and southeastern New Hampshire, and Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center celebrates the season each year by sponsoring the Superbowl of Birding.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s competition, has been modified in scope, with resultant rules changes. The 2021 event, taking place 5 am to 5 pm Saturday, January 30, thus has been dubbed the ”Semi-Superbowl of Birding.”
For instance, in past Superbowls, teams of competitors have been free to range throughout both Massachusetts’ Essex and New Hampshire’s Rockingham counties, but this year must choose either to bird in, in order to meet quarantine regulations. And the teams, which have included from 4-to-7 members in the past can include as few as 1-to-3 this year.
Still, the pre-dawn-to-sunset bird identification marathon remains 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. Needless to say, strategy and planning are essential to winning.
The event includes activities appropriate for all levels of birders, with prizes awarded in seven categories. The Zeiss Joppa Cup is awarded to the team that collects the most points by the end of the specified 12-hour birding day.
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.