Are you, or one of your students interested in participating in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest?
If so, make sure you:
and print contest rules and forms:
the contest rules carefully and make sure you meet the requirements
3. Begin researching and preparing your entry
4. Fill in the entry form completely and affix it to the back of your entry
5. Mail your entry to your state coordinator by
the information below, too, before getting started! And, don't forget
to check out the Frequently Asked Questions section.
your Junior Duck Stamp entry to a state contest by the state's deadline:
States and U.S. Territories: March 15, 2013
Except these states:
South Carolina: January 11
Arizona: March 1
Ohio: March 1
Remember to submit contest entries for your state or territory's Junior Duck Stamp competition to your state coordinator! Please direct all questions about your state contest to your state coordinator.
promote the program
copies of the Junior Duck Stamp Program materials to
distribute at your school or local educational event and contact your state
coordinator to see how you can help.
The Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest is the culmination of the Junior Duck Stamp educational program. After studying waterfowl anatomy and habitat, students may articulate their newfound knowledge by drawing, painting or sketching a picture of an eligible North American waterfowl species.
Students from around the United States submit drawings to their state, territory or district competition.
Winners from these competitions, called the "Best of Show," are then submitted
to the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest. One image from the 53 Best
of Show entries will become the next Junior Duck Stamp.
Junior Duck Stamps are sold for $5 each by the U.S. Postal Service, Amplex Corporation, and various National Wildlife Refuges. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps are returned to states for environmental and conservation education programs.
Eligibility - Who may participate?
K-12 students attending public, private, or home schools in the United States and the U.S. Territories are eligible to enter, as long as they are U.S. Citizens, resident aliens, or nationals. U.S. Citizens attending schools abroad may enter through their legal state of residence.
student who won First Place in the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest
during the preceding year may not submit an entry in the current year's
- One entry per student.
- Supervising adults should encourage all students to participate in the Junior Duck Stamp program and enter the art contest. In the case of foreign exchange students, their artwork will be judged at the state level but if the artwork is awarded Best of Show, though it may be honored as a winner in that state, it may not be forwarded to the national competition.
physical size of submitted artwork must be 9" x 12".
- Entries must be less than ¼" thick.
- Image layout must be horizontal.
- Image must be a live portrayal of a native North American duck, swan or goose (refer to eligible species list).
- Entries should not be matted.
- There should be no border around the image.
- A loose, detachable cover sheet may be laid over the art face to protect it during shipping. Spray chalk and pastel entries with a fixative to eliminate possible scuffing and smudging during transfer of artwork.
- The entry may be multi-color, black and white, or a single color; it may be rendered in ink, paint, pastel, crayon, or pencil.
- Techniques may include scratch-board, airbrush, linoleum printing, paper collage, dry brush, crosshatch, pointillism, etc. No photography, weak pencil, or computer-generated art will be accepted.
- No lettering, words, signatures or initials may appear on the front of the design. Inclusion of such markings will result in disqualification.
entries must be contestant's original, hand-drawn creation and may
not be traced or copied from published photographs or other artists'
- Photographs taken by the student may be used as references in the development of the design. Computers or other mechanical devices may not be used in creating artwork.
Using References to Prepare Your Entry
Scenes should depict birds in their natural habitat; for example, sea ducks should be shown in ocean areas. Feather colors should be appropriate to the time of the year depicted by the environment. Decoratively designed birds are to receive equal voting consideration as realistic depictions as long as they are anatomically correct according to species depicted. Students should not reproduce other artists’ visual images for the purpose of presenting them as their own creative work.
Only work that is the unique creation of the individual student should be entered into competition. Please do not submit work which has been directly or indirectly copied from any published
source. Students limited by environment or experience may rely on published
images as guides when producing a work. Especially when many references
are used to develop an understanding of the subject represented in
the entry, the entry must be the student's own creation and idea.
Restrictions on subject matter of entry:
Please submit an entry featuring one of the species listed below. Contact the state coordinator for questions regarding the permitted species list. Note: Mute swans are not permitted species.
Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator, formerly olor buccinator)
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus, formerly olor columbianus)
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
Snow Goose, including blue phase (Chen caerulescens)
Ross's Goose (Chen rossii)
Emperor Goose (Chen canagica)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Brant (Branta bernicla)
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
American Wigeon (Anas Americana)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula)
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)
Redhead (Aythya americana)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Greater Scaup (Aytha marila)
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)
Spectacled Eider (Somateria fisheri)
Stellers Eider (Polysticta stelleri)
Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)
Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca)
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
Barrows Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Masked Duck (Oxyura dominica)
Nene (Branta sandvicensis)
Koloa (Anas wyvilliana)
Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis)
All phases of the judging procedure are open to the general public. Entries will be judged on the basis of design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition, and suitability for reproduction on a 1” by 1 ½” stamp. Both realistic and imaginative interpretations are acceptable. Judging will continue until awards have been allocated for first, second and third place, plus honorable mentions. For each state, district, or territory, there will be 100 awards: 12 First Place, 12 Second Place, 12 Third Place and up to 64 honorable mentions. One student’s design will be selected from the 12 First Place winners as “Best of Show.” Notification of winners will be made as soon as possible. The state coordinator and/or member of the Duck Stamp Office staff will officially oversee all judging events.
Each student is encouraged, but not required, to write a short conservation message that expresses the spirit of what they have learned through classroom discussions, research and planning for their Junior Duck Stamp Contest entries. Conservation messages should be limited to the space provided on the entry form.
One message per state is judged at the national level. States submit either the Best of Show conservation message or the winner of the state conservation message contest. For more information regarding your state’s conservation message contest, please contact your state coordinator.
Recognition and prizes will vary from state to state; however, all entries will receive certificates of participation and winners will receive special ribbons. In acknowledgment of the integral part teachers and parents play in education and the future of the youth of our nation, the national winner and one parent or guardian will receive a free trip to participate in the First Day of Sale ceremony in late June/early July.
The following cash prizes will also be awarded:
National First Place: $5,000
Frequently Asked Questions
National Second Place: $3,000
National Third Place: $2,000
Conservation Message First Place: $500
Return of Entries: All entries will be returned to the students or schools. Non-winning entries will be returned by June 1. Winning stamp designs will be returned approximately one year after the state contest date. For questions regarding your artwork or to report a change of address, please contact your state, territory or district coordinator. If artwork is unclaimed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not be obligated to trace the location of the artist to return the artwork. All unclaimed entries may be destroyed one year from the date of the contest. Every effort will be made to safely return artwork to the students. In some areas, teachers will be notified to pick up the work at a central location.
Display of Duck Stamp Designs
Each state, district or territory Best of Show entry will be displayed at the Federal Duck Stamp Contest judging, waterfowl festivals, wildlife museums, and galleries throughout the United States. State programs may also choose to display the top winning artwork.
I entered the contest last year, when will I receive my entry and who should I contact?
All entries will be returned to the students or schools. Non-winning entries will be returned by June 1. Winning stamp designs will be returned approximately one year after the state contest date. For questions regarding your artwork or to report a change of address, please click on your state, territory or district on the map below. If artwork is unclaimed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not be obligated to trace the location of the artist to return the artwork. All unclaimed entries may be destroyed one year from the date of the contest. Every effort will be made to safely return artwork to the students. In some areas, teachers will be notified to pick up the work at a central location.
Click on your state for state coordinator information!