Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big Sit and the Duck Stamp Contest

Bit Sit and sometimes Big Stand.

Cute Husband and I joined Paul Baicich and a group of newbie birders at the Patuxent Research Refuge on Sunday for the Big Sit.
The Big Sit is an annual event where a group selects a good bird potential habitat, and counts each species that is heard or seen within an imaginary 17 foot diameter circle around your sitting spot. The weather was perfect for a day of scoping and sitting and chatting and enjoying whatever decided to make its way our way.
Our group included 3 families who home schooled their children and were using the Big Sit as a learning experience.Love that!
I also loved this cool science book they were using, which included several chapters on birds, bats and pollinators.
The Environmental Educators at Patuxent Research Refuge provided some great bird learning tools - and the children were really engaged.
Love that!
In the palm of my hand... a Hummingbirds skull...
The Match the Drake to his Mate Game was also quite popular. And who can resist making a bird feeder with pine cones rolled in Crisco?
(Mine is the one of the left)
We wrapped up at 2:30 with 41 species and some new friends and headed to the Visitor Center to check out the entries for the 2009 Duck Stamp....
The judging is this weekend at the Refuge and the winning design gets the honor of gracing the 2010-2011 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp or "The Duck Stamp".
And, an honor it will be, as the sale of Duck Stamps supports the purchase of millions of acres of wetland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Each year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service selects 5 species, any one of which can be painted.
The competition looks pretty tough this year....
One of Warren's favorites....

Most unusual....



Wood Ducks were popular choices....

I love the leaf in the water and the way the way the Gadwall's eye kind of follows you...

More Woodies...

A sharp looking Blue-Winged Teal set off with some reeds.

A gorgeous Gadwall.

Two very traditional looking entries....

Cinnamon Teals looking quite fine.


Unofficial judges.





So which will grace the next Duck Stamp?
Judging for the Duck Stamp is this weekend, and the winner will be put to work on the Duck Stamp for sale next July.
And, the proceeds will help place more signs like this around more protected habitats!

3 comments:

Chris Petrak said...

As I try to do more photography, I find that "sits" have a lot going for them. Interesting sampling of bird art in your post.

dAwN said...

Have never done a big sit..looks like fun! We do come across many families that are living and traveling the USA in RVs and home schooling...I think its awesome.
Wow I would have a very difficult time deciding which duck stamp to choose..cant wait to see the winner.

Kathiesbirds said...

I hope you let us know who wins! Beautiful and interesting paintings. Glad you did the Big Sit and glad to see parents having the kids participate! They are our next generation of birders!