DNR Announces T-Shirt Art Winners In Youth Birding Competition

Social Circle, Ga.

Four budding bird artists have been selected as T-shirt Art Contest winners in Georgia’s 17th annual Youth Birding Competition, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

A golden eagle drawing by Kevin Lin, a Duluth 11th-grader and SKA Academy of Art and Design student, led the contest’s 108 entries from 35 public, private and home schools statewide. As the grand-prize winner, the 17-year-old will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and have his artwork featured on T-shirts at the 2023 Youth Birding Competition.

The art contest is part of the annual birding event, in which teams of children and teens try to find as many bird species as possible across Georgia in 24 hours. The fun, free bird-a-thon starts Friday, April 14, and ends Saturday, April 22. Teams of kindergarteners through high schoolers will pick a 24-hour stretch during that span and compete by age group to find the most birds statewide. The competition culminates in an awards ceremony and banquet April 22 at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield.

The T-shirt art contest entry by Lin also won the High School division. Other division winners include:

  • Primary (pre-K through second grade): bay-breasted warbler by Emma Wang, 7, a second-grader at SKA Academy of Art and Design in Duluth.  
  • Elementary (third-fifth grade): palm warbler by Ryan Ton, 10, a fifth-grader at SKA Academy of Art and Design.
  • Middle School (sixth-eighth grade): rufous hummingbird by Mindy Wang from Lilburn, 11, a sixth-grader from SKA Academy of Art and Design.     

The other division winners will each receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Art contest coordinator Linda May praised all competitors for their efforts and stressed that the focus “isn’t just about art.” “By observing and researching potential birds to draw or paint, students connect more with nature and discover Georgia’s amazing biodiversity,” said May, outreach coordinator for DNR’s Wildlife Conservation Section.

“Birds are a great focus for this art contest since they’re beautiful, entertaining to watch and easy to find.”

Georgia is home to more than 400 species of resident and migratory birds, ranging in size from the tiny ruby-throated hummingbird to the regal bald eagle. To encourage wildlife conservation, both an awareness and appreciation of animals and their habitats are essential. The contest helps form that foundation through art. Research shows that participation in nature art also promotes children’s well-being by developing confidence and supporting creativity.   

The birding competition and T-shirt Art Contest are sponsored by DNR’s Wildlife Conservation Section, The Environmental Resources Network Inc. (TERN),  – friends group of the Wildlife Conservation Section – and others including the Georgia Ornithological Society and Georgia Audubon.

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