News & Events

NH Audubon Birding Team to Compete on NH Coast

NH Audubon’s “Twitchers out of the Rye” will be taking part in the Superbowl of Birding on January 25, 2020. The Superbowl is a competition that takes place in January – but this Superbowl has nothing to do with football. It involves looking for as many bird species as possible in 12 hours and is run by Massachusetts Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center. Teams can compete in Essex County, MA and/or Rockingham County, NH.
After doing 10 years in Rye, last year the team tried out the town of Hampton, with great success. “We wanted to see what another town would be like,” said Twitchers team captain Becky Suomala. “It was fun to learn a new area and we did well enough that we want to try it again this year!”

The 2019 Twitchers ending their day in the cold, blowing snow at Hampton Beach.

Team members still need to scout this relatively new area before the competition to find the best birding spots. Rare species are worth more points than common ones, and teams are required to call in and report the five-point birds so that sightings can be shared with other teams. The first team to find a “five-pointer” gets bonus points. Last year they had one five-pointer, a Chipping Sparrow, and they are hoping for more this year.
The Twitchers also raise money to support NH Audubon and accept pledges to support New Hampshire Bird Records and NH eBird. Help spur the Twitchers on by pledging an amount per species or per point – and support the collection of bird data for conservation at the same time. “When the mercury drops and the winds blow, pledges help keep us going – knowing each species or point will help build contributions for conservation!” said Becky Suomala.
Pledge online at www.nhbirdrecords.org (and read the results from previous years) or contact Becky Suomala at [email protected], 603-224-9909 x309.
And if you see a car full of four bundled figures stop suddenly, and peer out the window with binoculars, don’t be alarmed. They are likely the Twitchers or another team of birders competing in this annual birding competition.

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Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.