Ring-necked Ducks to Grace Alabama Waterfowl Stamp

Ring-necked ducks sitting in water, painted by David Sellers of McCalla, is the winner of the 2003 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest. The winning artwork will be the design used for the 2004-05 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp. Sellers previously won the art contest in 2000 with a painting of buffleheads.

First runner-up was a drake hooded merganser sitting in water by Everett Hatcher of Birmingham. Others finishing in the top five were Steven Burney of Town Creek, Verna Bryant of Mobile and Elaine Turner Tillison of Jacksonville.

Entries were judged on suitability for reproduction as a stamp; originality; artistic composition; anatomical accuracy; and general rendering. The designs were limited to living species of North American migratory ducks or geese, and winning species from the past three years – ruddy duck, pintail, and wood duck – were not eligible subjects for the 2003 contest.

The artwork was publicly displayed and judged by a panel of experts in the fields of art, ornithology, and conservation. Melissa B. Tubbs, a Montgomery artist and instructor, represented the field of art. Greg Williams, the current Alabama Ducks Unlimited state chairman and avid duck hunter, represented the field of conservation. Rick West, state coordinator for the Alabama Breeding Bird Atlas Project, represented the field of ornithology.

The law requires that any waterfowl hunter 16 years of age and older must carry a valid Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp -- or duck stamp -- signed in ink across the face. Like the federal migratory waterfowl stamps, state issued stamps are popular with collectors.

The annual artwork competition for the Alabama Migratory Waterfowl Stamp design is held each year in February and is open to Alabama residents only. For additional information, visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Web site at www.dcnr.state.al.us or call the Wildlife Section at 334-242-3469.

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