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 protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.
Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at www.massaudubon.org.