This is a state-wide poster and literature competition. Since its start in 1987, the contest has encouraged Alaskan K-12 students to learn about Alaska’s migratory bird populations and how they can participate in bird conservation.

Formerly known as the "Goose Calendar" from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Goose Management Plan, the project underwent numerous changes as it grew to include more Refuges and drew more participants. Today, the Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar is a compilation of annual children’s literature and poster contests throughout rural villages of Alaska, facilitated by the efforts of many of Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges and the Utqiaġvik and Fairbanks field offices. The state-wide winners of the contest are published in each year’s calendar.

Who can submit an entry? 

Students (public, private, or home-schooled) residing in or adjacent to the North Slope Borough and the following National Wildlife Refuges: Alaska Maritime, Alaska Peninsula/Becharof, Arctic, Innoko, Izembek, Kodiak, Selawik, Togiak, Yukon Delta, Yukon Flats, and Tetlin. Students living in other communities outside these areas are welcome to compete in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest.  

Four ways to win!

  1. Local Contest: after entries arrive at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offices (office addresses listed in Entry Form) in February, each office conducts a local contest with the help of five local judges. They select winners in each of the four calendar categories for both poster and literature entries (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). 
  2. State-wide Contest: each Office sends the entries of the local winners to Anchorage for the state-wide contest. Five independent judges select 12 state-wide literature and 12-state-wide poster winners (3 in each grade category) to be printed in the upcoming calendar. The judges also select one Grand Prize literature and poster winner to grace the calendar cover. 
  3. Managers' Prime Picks: if your local participating National Wildlife Refuge or office does not have a winner in the statewide judging, the local Refuge Manager selects one entry to be published in the calendar. 
  4. Certificates of Appreciation: every student that submits an entry receives a certificate signed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 

2025 Theme

This year the theme for the Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest is Fabulous Feathers. Feathers have a variety of purposes such as flight, insulation, protection, display, camouflage, and water proofing. Feathers are remarkable and unique to birds! Students are invited to celebrate the “Fabulous Feathers” of Alaska’s migratory birds through art and literature. Please see the rules under the poster and literature categories and contact your nearby US Fish & Wildlife Service location for more information. 

Here are some resources:  

FWS Feather Atlas – Identify found feathers and see reference photos of a variety of bird feathers.

Alaska Native Knowledge Network - Feather lesson 


March 4, 2024

Literature Rules

Poster Rules

Registration Form 

woman wearing a FWS shirt
Tribal Communication and Outreach Specialist
Office of Communications
Additional Role(s)
Arctic Youth Ambassadors,
Native Youth Climate Adaptation and Leadership Congress
Tribal communications, Migratory Bird Calendar