(Jan. 19, 2017) – Hey kids! Do you like birds and love to draw or paint? Georgia’s twelfth annual Youth Birding Competition is offering a T-shirt Art Contest for resident children and teens.

Many famous ornithologists were bird artists when they were young, so perhaps you could be the next John James Audubon, Roger Tory Peterson or David Allen Sibley!

A winner will be picked from each of these age categories: primary (pre-K-2nd), elementary (third-fifth), middle school (sixth-eighth) and high school. One winner will be awarded the grand prize – their artwork will appear on the 2017 YBC T-shirt, and they’ll receive a $100 gift card to Michaels. The three other winners will each receive a $50 Michaels gift card, redeemable for art supplies.

Entering is easy. Participants must draw or paint their favorite Georgia bird on paper or sheet canvas (at least 8-by-10 inches but no larger than 11-by-17 inches). Mail or deliver it in a large envelope – flat, not folded – by March 8, 2017 (postmarked), to: GA DNR-WRD, YBC T-shirt Art Contest (Attn: Linda May), 2065 US Hwy. 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025.

On a separate piece of paper, gently taped to the back of the artwork, include the participant’s name, school, age, grade level, mailing address, phone number, parent or teacher’s e-mail address, and species name of the bird depicted.

The illustrated bird must be a wild species and native to Georgia. Artwork of exotic or domesticated species (such as European starlings, pigeons, chickens, yellow ducks, peacocks and parrots) will be disqualified. Draw or paint the bird’s features as accurately as possible. A simple background that provides habitat context is good to include, but make sure your bird stand outs well and is the main focus of the artwork. Also keep in mind that deep, contrasting colors scan best for a T-shirt.

Only one entry per person is allowed, and it must be the child’s artwork. Participation in the Youth Birding Competition on April 29-30 is encouraged but not required to submit artwork for the T-shirt Art Contest.

Competitors in the birding event can pick up their submissions at the April 30 banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, where select artwork will be displayed and winners announced.

Artwork from children and teens who do not take part in the Youth Birding Competition can either be picked up at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield through May 20 during normal business hours or returned by mail – but only if a large, self-addressed envelope with at least six first-class stamps is included with the submission.

The 2017 Youth Birding Competition starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 29, and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 30. Groups may use as much or as little of that time to count as many birds as possible throughout Georgia. Although teams may start birding anywhere in the state, they must turn in their checklists at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center by 5 p.m. Sunday.

While judges examine and score checklists, participants will enjoy a live animal show followed by an awards banquet packed with prizes.

For more information on the T-shirt Art Contest, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/YBCTshirtArtContest.  You can also contact art contest coordinator Linda May at (706) 557-3226 or [email protected]

The same site includes links to Youth Birding Competition details, including registering a team online for this exciting event (March 31 deadline). You can also contact competition coordinator Tim Keyes at (912) 262-3191 or [email protected]

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