The middle of February brings several different occasions—we’ve heard the predictions of Punxsutawney Phil and are preparing for spring, even as we wonder who our valentine will be. Many Arizonans have been following major-league football playoffs, and counting the days until that second Sunday in February when all of America will be united. Well, except for those who aren’t as interested in football as they are in a magnificent bird of prey.
Wait a minute, a magnificent bird of prey?
Yes, because the second Sunday in February means it’s time for the Superb Owl!
For those who haven’t “heard about the bird,” the Superb Owl is a new Super Bowl Sunday trend. It started with a common internet typo in the late aughts and early 2010s, and continued with jokes, memes, and more, eventually spreading across the country—and even around the world, as breweries from the Netherlands to New Zealand have produced “Superb Owl” beers.
Some Superb Owl events can be enjoyed wherever you are—like checking out r/SuperbOwl’s online festivities with the best owl pictures the internet can offer. However, there are also local Superb Owl events all over the country, including ways to get in on the fun here in Arizona!
Here are a few ways to enjoy Superb Owl Sunday in the Grand Canyon State:
Get Outdoors and See Some Superb Arizona Owls
Most Arizonans know that the state is home to a diverse range of beautiful wildlife—from javelinas and coyotes (and roadrunners!) to horned toads and Gila monsters. But did you know that Arizona is also home to 13 different species of owls?
This Superb Owl weekend, you can get outside and try to see them for yourself in their natural habitat—or, if you’re in Avondale, you can learn about them from the comfort of the Avondale Public Library at their Superb Owl event.
Some of the best opportunities for birding (as birdwatching is known within the community) occur in the beautiful state parks across the Grand Canyon State, including Catalina State Park, home of the Elf Owl. To try for a glimpse of the famous Great Horned Owl, you might want to check out Patagonia Lake or Red Rock State Park. Remember: Owls are nocturnal, so try to get out in the evening for your best chance of spotting them.
Donate to the Cause
Unfortunately, while the owls of Arizona are beautiful to see and important to desert ecosystems, some are under threat.
Currently, the Center for Biological Diversity is in the midst of a legal challenge against the construction of a new Arizona freeway which could destroy the habitat of Arizona’s already-threatened cactus ferruginous pygmy owl.
This Superb Owl Sunday, consider donating to one of the conservation groups that are trying to protect this native bird.
Raise a Glass to Arizona Wildlife
For many Arizonans, a game-watch party wouldn’t be complete without a tasty local beverage — so why should a Superb Owl celebration be any different?
While you’ve already read about how there are Superb-Owl specific beers from around the world, and might already be considering themed snacks, why not try something a little closer to home?
In 2023, Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. introduced their very own Superb Owl beer, in an event collaborating with the Southwest chapter of the Audubon Society. Not only does this Mexican-style lager have a nutty finish and 3.8 stars on Untappd, but like all of Arizona Wilderness’ beers, it supports sustainable brewing practices that are mindful of local ecosystems.
And did you know that Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. created the state’s first bird-friendly beer garden? We’ll drink to that!
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