The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is conducting its annual art contest to select the design for the state’s 2020-2021 upland game bird stamp. The California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest is open to all U.S. residents ages 18 and older. Entries will be accepted from Nov. 9 through Dec. 4.
This year’s stamp will feature the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura). These popular migratory upland game birds are found throughout California in a variety of habitats. Common in grassland, cropland and open woodland environments, they are often seen foraging on the ground for a wide variety of seeds. The characteristic sound of a mourning dove taking flight is generated by special flight feathers which vibrate rapidly to create a whistling sound, which increases in pitch when a dove is startled by a predator, communicating danger to other birds nearby.
Entries must include at least one mourning dove, preferably in a habitat or setting representative of California. Entries will be judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.
The contest will be judged by a panel of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. The winning artist will be selected during a judging event in December.
An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The money generated from stamp sales is dedicated to upland game bird-related conservation projects, education, hunting opportunities and outreach. CDFW sells over 150,000 upland game bird validations annually. Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectible stamp by visiting wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. For collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation, or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps, an order form is also available on the website.