Youngest Artists Ever In USFWS Migratory Bird Calendar

Cover shot from USFWS Alaska Migratory Birds Calendar
Cover shot from USFWS Alaska Migratory Birds Calendar


A few months ago we wrote about a fascinating documentary, The Million Dollar Duckwhich chronicled artists’ quest to win the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Federal Duck Stamp art contest. The USFWS Alaska division released its contest-winning artwork for the 2017 Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar, and the winners were among the youngest ever. Who knows? Perhaps these kids will someday be vying to paint the Million Dollar Duck.

Here’s the USFWS release and congrats to all those entered their artwork:

There aren’t many regional art contests that can boast about being around for 31 years and have 1,100 kids from 58 rural Alaska towns and villages submitting their work, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) popular Migratory Bird Calendar art contest has done all of these things this year.

Dillingham fifth grader Ellie Hink and Kobuk kindergartener Reggie Wood were this year’s grand prize winners and are among the youngest ever. After being judged in their local areas, the top winners were entered for statewide level judging where competition was tough. Twelve posters and 12 pieces of literature were chosen to be published in the 2017 calendar. Ellie and Reggie’s work will grace the cover.

Each year a theme is chosen by a team from the USFWS and students from around rural Alaska learn all about the theme in their classes then write literature and create posters to illustrate it. This year’s theme was “Working Together to Save Migratory Bird” and migratory birds of every size, color and type were well represented, nesting, flying, diving; the kids imagined it all.

Designed to educate rural Alaskans about Alaska’s migratory bird populations and how residents can participate in helping with bird management, every month of the calendar contains messages about migratory bird conservation along with the children’s art. The calendar is distributed free to over 100 villages in rural Alaska and hangs in offices and kitchens for entire families to learn about migratory bird populations. Calendars are available at your local school and from your nearest National Wildlife Refuge.

For the full list of 2017 statewide and local contest winners and information on the 2018 migratory bird calendar contest, visit:

This sought-after calendar shows how partnerships between government and non-government organizations, Friends’ groups, school teachers, and the kids, creates a valuable and long-standing teaching tool to conserve wildlife for future generations.

 See other literature and artwork submissions on Flickr at