Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.
Minnesota got blanked in the competition for artwork to appear on the 2013-14 federal duck stamp (aka Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp).
Robert Steiner, an artist from San Francisco, California, won with an acrylic painting of a Common Goldeneye. Steiner's painting will be made into the 2013-2014 duck stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2013.
The stamp sells for $15, and raises about $25 million each year, providing critical funds to conserve and protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge system. This land benefits wildlife and people, including birders.
Seventen of 192 entries made it to the final round of judging. Paul Bridgeford of Des Moines, Iowa, placed second with his painting of a pair of Northern Shovelers. Gerald Mobley of Claremore, Okla., took third place with his painting, also of a pair of Northern Shovelers.
This is Steiner's second Federal Duck Stamp Contest win. His art previously appeared on the 1998-1999 Federal Duck Stamp. (That previous image was of a Barrow's Goldeneye.)
Announcement was made Saturday by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, during the annual art contest.
Winners for the current stamp and its predecessor were two of Minnesota's Hautman brothers, Joe and Jim. Robert Hautman did enter this year, but didn't place. Combined, the brothers have won the duck-stamp competition 10 times.
Here are the top three paintings in this year's competition.
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