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The pre-kickoff spectacular

January 22, 2009

So the Cardinals and the Steelers made it to the Super Bowl. Good for them and for the fans in the cities where they are based. But, frankly, I’m not a football fan, I find it boring, so I’m not going to be paying much attention to the the big game. But I have Super Bowl dreams of my own, a different sort of competition, one more my style. This Super Bowl involves Birding.

In the vein of, but slightly different then, the World Series of Birding, that long running 24 hour competition held every spring in New Jersey, this 12 hour blitz in the middle of the harsh New England winter was completely unknown to me, as I suspect it is to many birders outside the northeast, until Christopher of Picus Blog sent out an intriguing offer to a few online birders. A team, made up entirely of bird bloggers, to take on the competition.

It was an idea I had been tossing around myself, though without a specific competition in mind. When word got back that a crack team had been assembled, I decided I had to be a part of it too. So tomorrow I, along with a veritable who’s who of nature bloggers consisting of Quintus of Owl Box Blog, Patrick of the Hawk Owl’s Nest, and Corey of 10000 Birds, will be making the trip up to chilly Massachusetts to meet Christopher and prepare for, what I can only imagine, will be a full frontal birding onslaught striking fear into the hearts of all who oppose us, as the mighty Bloggerhead Kingbirds. Yeah, pretty swank logo, huh? Birdorable is undeniably cool. You should check out their stuff. I’ll wait.

The rules are a little more complicated than simple “biggest list wins”. Each bird is assigned a point value from one to five based on rarity. An Ivory Gull (and there are two of the up there right now) is rightfully worth far more than a Dark-eyed Junco. Christopher, our team captain and head scouter, has been busy nailing down a route and schedule. It remains to us, however, to make it happen on game day.

And as for game day? You can follow along, too, even if you won’t likely be birding hardcore starting at 5 am like we will. You have two options.

  1. I’m liveblogging the competition on twitter. You can follow along with semi-regular updates on my twitter page sent via mobile phone, most likely en route to or from some incredible bird. If you are a twitter-er, sign up to follow.
  2. Quintus will be moblogging directly to his blog, Owl Box, with posts that will likely have pictures of birders birding, and probably snow. You should keep an eye on that too.

In the end, you can probably expect full post-game coverage from everybody with pictures, birds, exciting tales of daring do, and, hopefully, an ultimate victory.

It’s gonna be a blast. Be ready. We are.

  1. Patrick Belardo permalink
    January 22, 2009 9:38 am

    The streets will flow with the blood of our competitors!

  2. January 22, 2009 10:15 am

    @patrick- Yes, if it doesn’t freeze first.

  3. Jochen permalink
    January 22, 2009 11:28 am

    Here’s my suggestion on how you can easily nail the contest within 20 minutes and then retire to a nearby bar … or museum, for that matter.

    1. Send Carrie over and tell her to sit on a prearranged rock somewhere along the Massachusets coast.

    2. Spot her.

    3. Claim to have seen a Great Auk.

    4. Get 100,000 points for it – more than any other team can gather no matter how many vagrants and rarities they find.

    5. Enjoy your victory.

  4. pinguinus permalink
    January 23, 2009 10:39 am

    I’m up for it so long as I can sit near one of the Ivory Gulls!

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