This beautiful painting of a Long-Tailed Duck next to a decoy by Joshua Spies of Watertown, South Dakota, beat out 269 other entrants to win the competition for the 2009-2010 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale next June. We can't wait to buy it.
BirdCouple readers already know that Duck Stamp sales generate millions of dollars that go to buying land for the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge system; that 98 cents of every dollar goes for this purpose; and that many of our favorite refuges were established and expanded almost entirely with Duck Stamp funds.
Interestingly, the Long-Tailed Duck has not been on the stamp since 1967. Back then, the bird was known by the now politically incorrect name "Oldsquaw."
Here is Saturday's announcement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Here's a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
And here is a short video on the contest, also on the Star-Tribune web site.
All of this passed along by the inimitable Paul Baicich. Who else? Now go get your '08 Duck Stamp if you haven't already.