The 2016 Superbowl of Birding with The Twitchers

The “Twitchers in the Rye” competed in the Superbowl of Birding Saturday, January 30, 2016, on the NH Seacoast. This year’s team was from across New Hampshire with Peg Ackerson from Lyme, Andrea Robbins from Pittsfield, Pat Myers from Weare, and Becky Suomala from Chichester.

The competition involves looking for as many bird species as possible between 5:00am and 5:00pm and each species has a point value based on rarity (five point maximum). It is run by Massachusetts Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and teams can compete in Essex County, MA and/or Rockingham County, NH.

The Twitchers in the Rye traditionally stay in just the town of Rye, NH and also raise money for two NH Audubon programs – New Hampshire Bird Records and NH eBird.

The team had a total of 59 species (their average over the last eight years) and 95 points (average 98). They had four species that were new for the Twitchers, one of which was a five-pointer: Turkey Vulture (five pt.) over Parson’s Creek saltmarsh, a Bonaparte’s Gull and Yellow-rumped Warbler at Odiorne Pt. State Park, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet at a feeder on West Road.

They had no major misses in their Rye territory and there were a few surprises such as two Bald Eagles circling overhead, a Great Horned Owl calling at dawn, two Razorbills flying by on the ocean, a Greater Scaup, and one Common Grackle for only the second time in eight years, flying over the Wentworth by the Sea golf course.

According to the team, the morning is always busy. “We were adding new species at every turn but we had to work hard in the afternoon to scrounge up any new species,” said Team Captain, Becky Suomala. “That’s when pledges really help keep us going, although the weather this year was nice enough that we wanted to be outside!”

Twitchers in the Rye rockin’ their hoodies at the Superbowl wrap-up party. Left to right: Andrea Robbins, Becky Suomala, Pat Myers (hiding her team tee under a fleece), and Peg Ackerson

Twitchers in the Rye rockin’ their hoodies at the Superbowl wrap-up party. Left to right: Andrea Robbins, Becky Suomala, Pat Myers (hiding her team tee under a fleece), and Peg Ackerson.

Donors have pledged more than $1,500 and the team is grateful for all the enthusiasm and support for bird conservation.

See below for a full write-up of our Superbowl 2016 adventures.

Pledge or Donate to the Twitchers

Thanks to everyone who sponsored us. It’s not too late to make a donation and support the Team! Click here to donate online or send a check to NH Audubon, attn. Twitchers, 84 Silk Farm Rd., Concord, NH 03301. Questions? – contact Becky Suomala at rsuomala@nhaudubon.org or 603-224-9909 x309.

Past Years’ Results

To read the expanded summary, see the full list of species, or look at past years’ results, click the links below.

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Year Species Points
2016 59 95 View Summary article (pdf)
2015 59 100 View Summary article (pdf)
2014 58 104 View Summary article (pdf)
2013 62 106 View Summary article (pdf)
2012 58 95 View Summary article (pdf)
2011 57 94 View Summary article (pdf)
2010 53 78 View Summary article (pdf)
2009 63 112

View a chart showing the species list and points from 2009 through 2016.