Superbowl of Birding: Long Hours, Tough Choices, and Momentary Miracles

The thickets and feeders on this narrow seaside road in the town of Rockport, Massachusetts, were filled with the chattering of House Sparrows and the calls of Black-capped Chickadees, but they might as well have been silent. The bird that the four of us sought—a Dickcissel, a denizen of the prairie way out of place in this cold New England setting—was nowhere to be found.