Skip to main content

Duck Stamp Winner

In case you hadn't heard, Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota won the competition for the 2012-13 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, which is far better known as just the "Duck Stamp". Hautman's gorgeous rendering of a drake Wood Duck (above) will grace the new stamp, which goes on sale July 1st, 2012.

Incredibly, this win is Joe's 4th - quite a feat. Many cream of the crop artists vie to have their work featured on the stamp, and the competitions are always ferocious. Adam Grimm, a former Ohio resident and well known to many here, placed second with his painting of a Gadwall.

The Duck Stamp was first unveiled in 1934 as a vehicle to raise much needed funds for land acquisition. It's been a successful program, having raised over $750 million to date. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar raised by stamp sales goes to land acquisition - a percentage probably unmatched by any conservation organization. Nearly 5.5 million (MILLION!) acres have been purchased or leased with Duck Stamp dollars. Over 90% of the funds for Ohio's only federal refuge, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, came via the stamp program.

While waterfowl conservation is the driving force behind the Duck Stamp program, it's always important to keep in mind that an enormous collage of flora and fauna comprises the wetlands and prairies that are protected through this program. Botanists, birders, entomologists, and even mushroom hunters benefit in addition to waterfowl hunters. If you support conservation, consider buying a $15.00 Duck Stamp. They can be ordered RIGHT HERE. Besides, the stamps are miniature lickable works of art.


Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…