🦉Sanford wins runner-up, $1,000 in ‘Superb Owl’ contest

Audubon Center for Birds of Prey says contest brings awareness to importance of raptors, supports conservation efforts

MAITLAND, Fla. – Although the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t clench the Super Bowl title, there are two birds who were big winners in the annual ‘Superb Owl’ contest.

The contest is sponsored by bonusfinder.com, playing off of the common misspelling of ‘Super Bowl.’

Sixteen owls went head-to-head in a vote for Superb Owl 2023, but Sanford, the owl from Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland was the runner-up for the title, receiving a $1,000 donation for the Audubon Center.

Sanford is an 11-year-old Screech Owl weighing in at less than a half-pound. He was rescued by Audubon after falling from his nest and injuring his wing. He is not able to fly anymore so he remains at Audubon as an ambassador bird.

[TRENDING: 17-year-old found shot to death in Orange CountyPalm Bay councilman Pete Filiberto accused of DUI, carrying cocaine in shoe | Brevard community rallies behind family whose son played in Super Bowl | Become a News 6 Insider]

“In our eyes, Sanford is a Superb Owl! It has been exciting to be able to share Sanford’s story and information about Eastern Screech-Owls with a new audience. We always appreciate the opportunity to talk about bird conservation and the importance of owls and other raptors in Florida,” Audubon Center Director Katie Gill Warner said in a statement to News 6.

It was Clink Screechwood from the Zoo in Forrest Park in Massachusetts who received the most votes, earning the title ‘Superb Owl 2023′ and the $5,000 prize.

Superb Owl 2023 - Clint Screechwood (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Although Sanford didn’t win this year, Audubon said it will continue to participate as long as it can, not just for the opportunity to raise money for the nonprofit, but to educate the community.

“Audubon has been participating in Superb Owl Sunday for several years now. It’s a fun opportunity to share about owls, their unique traits and adaptations, and the special role they play in Florida’s ecosystems. It was especially exciting that we had two owls accepted into this contest for a winning prize of $5,000 to support conservation,” Audubon Center Director Katie Gill Warner said in a statement to News 6.

Sanford wins runner-up and a $1,000 prize (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Audubon Center for Birds of Prey treats about 800 local Florida Raptors each year, releasing most back into the wild. The center is open to the public for people to learn about the birds and watch their progress. (And of course, visit Sanford).

You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.