With many, many, many apologies to Wallace Stevens, who does not deserve what I am about to do to his most famous poem, here is my take on the Superbowl of birding, which has been covered almost exhaustively already by my teammates on the Bloggerhead Kingbirds, Andrew, John, Christopher, Mike, and Nate.  So, without further ado, here is “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Superbowl of Birding.”

I

A Superbowl team must

see many birds in only twelve hours.

There is no time

to stare at blue.

II

In the long hours of competing

one learns how a

drop of water

feels as it

freezes

into

hail.

III

The ocean obscures as much as it

reveals.

One must flow with the waves not fight them.  The distant dark and light birds

are out there

awaiting birders’ words

to make something of them.

IV

Twelve eyes stare at one

duck.

Then twelve eyes stare at another

duck.

V

Superbowl teams stay close because it is the rule.  When parking is illegal

the driver

stays in the car and watches the watchers.

VI

Many grains of sand make a dune.

Many species of bird make a Superbowl of Birding.

Many bad jokes and puns make the Bloggerhead Kingbirds.

VII

One bright eye above looks down

upon everything

while obscuring many things.

It would be nice to have it as a teammate in the Superbowl of Birding.

VIII

The score does not tell

the story

of the day.

Unless you win a prize in which case the score is all anyone needs to know.

IX

Parking lots are

habitat.

X

When owling

your voice is your binoculars

and your ears are your eyes.

XI

Many birds means

sunset

is enjoyed.

Few birds means

sunset

is dreaded.

XII

Never stop looking.

Never stop seeking.

Never stop searching.

Until 5 PM.  Then stop and

count.

XIII

One man looking over waves tinted by dawn is a birder

but six men looking over waves tinted by dawn is a Superbowl of Birding team.

Birders are more difficult to herd than cats and their eyes go every which way.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.