Federal Duck Stamp Office
Migratory Birds



2014 Federal Duck Stamp Contest Regulations Available

The Duck Stamp Contest is the only federally legislated art competition in the country. These regulations are published each year and include important information for any artist entering the contest.

2014 Duck Stamp Contest Regulations

If this is your first time entering the contest, here is some important information to note from the regulations:


Artists may submit their artwork beginning on June 1, 2014. No early entries will be accepted. All artwork must be postmarked no later than midnight August 15, 2014.

For the 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Contest ONLY, please mail all entries to:
Federal Duck Stamp Contest
c/o NCTC Archives/Museum
National Conservation Training Center
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Special Note: After the Duck Stamp contest is judged, art is returned via Federal Express to the address submitted on the contest entry form. Please do not submit art with a P.O. box address; also please submit working phone numbers. Please send changes to your return address via email to Duck Stamp Office.

Find out what art characteristics make good stamp design

Eligible Species
Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chooses five species any which of one may be painted. For 2014, the species are:

    • Brant
    • Canada Goose
    • Northern Shoveler
    • Red-breasted Merganser
    • Ruddy Duck

If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Shaffer at the Federal Duck Stamp Office.

History of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest

Jay N."Ding" Darling designed the first Federal Duck Stamp in 1934. It depicted two mallards about to land on a marsh pond. In subsequent years, other noted wildlife artists were asked to submit designs to be considered for the stamp. The first art contest, in 1949, was open to any U.S. artist who wished to enter. Sixty-five artists submitted 88 design entries that first year. The number of entries rose to 2,099 in 1981 in the only art competition of its kind sponsored by the U.S. Government.

A panel of noted art, waterfowl and philatelic authorities is appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to judge each competition. Winners receive no compensation for their work, other than a pane of stamps carrying their design. Winning artists may sell prints of their designs, which are sought after by hunters, conservationists and art collectors.

Five species are eligible for the contest each year. Artists may choose whichever medium or media they'd like to use. Designs may be black-and-white or full color, and must measure 10 inches wide by 7 inches high.

History of the Federal Duck Stamp

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp, with the stroke of his pen. In signing the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, one of the first and most successful of conservation programs in this Nation's history was created.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually sponsors a stamp-design contest, with wildlife artists from across the nation submitting their work for judging by a panel of artists, philatelists and wildlife experts. The winning art is used on the next year's stamp.

The Act mandates that all waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older purchase a duck stamp. Proceeds from sales, less the cost of producing the stamp, are used to buy or lease wetlands and associated upland habitats for inclusion in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge System. Since the program's inception, Duck Stamp sales have raised more than $800 million to conserve over 6 million acres of crucial habitat throughout the United States. With this record of achievement, the Duck Stamp program has been called "one of the most successful conservation program ever initiated."

Fortunately, the sale of stamps is not restricted to hunters. Anyone can purchase the stamp, which can be used as an annual "season pass" to national wildlife refuges charging entrance fees. Conservationists buy the stamp because they know that 98 cents of every dollar invested in the stamp permanently conserves wildlife habitat for future generations; a small investment will bring you and your family long-term returns. Philatelists purchase the stamp as a collectible—a $1 stamp purchased in 1934 may bring as much as $750 for a stamp in mint condition today.

In providing the means to acquire habitat, the Duck Stamp Program offers a simple way for anyone to participate in the conservation of a natural resource we all share: migratory birds.



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Duck Stamp Art

What is Good Stamp Design?

Publications and Resources

2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp
2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp by Robert Steiner


Last updated: February 7, 2014
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