For the second time in its history, the Federal Duck Stamp will depict the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck. An acrylic painting showing two whistling-ducks close up and a trio flying in the background has been selected as the 2020-2021 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp.”
Alabama artist Eddie LeRoy painted the scene. It’s his first Federal Duck Stamp Contest win. The stamp will go on sale in June 2020.
The 1990-91 stamp is the only other Duck Stamp featuring Black-bellied Whistling-Duck. The bird is not a true duck, like Mallards or shovelers. It nests in cavities in trees as well as in nest boxes. Its breeding range extends from the southernmost United States and tropical Central to south-central South America. In the U.S., it occurs year-round in peninsular Florida, parts of southeast Texas, and seasonally in southeast Arizona, and Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. In recent years, its range has been expanding far to the north. Just this year, whistling-ducks have been seen as far north as western Minnesota and near Montreal, Quebec.
Funds support conservation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25 and raises approximately $40 million in sales each year. The funds support critical conservation to protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.
Eighty-five years after it was established, sales of the Duck Stamp to hunters, birdwatchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and collectors have raised more than $1 billion to conserve over six million acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife and provide countless opportunities for hunting and recreation on our public lands.
Cory McLaughlin of Wells, Texas, placed second with his oil painting of a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck pair, and Frank Mittelstadt of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, took third place with his acrylic painting of a pair of Bufflehead.
Of 190 entries in this year’s competition, 13 entries made it to the final round of judging. Eligible species for this year’s contest were the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Emperor Goose, American Black Duck, Bufflehead, and Northern Shoveler.