T-Shirt Art Winners Announced in Youth Birding Competition

Drawing of an American Kestrel
Social Circle, Ga

Four budding bird artists have been selected as T-shirt Art Contest winners in Georgia’s 16th annual Youth Birding Competition, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

An American kestrel drawing by Arvin Guo, a ninth-grader from Suwanee and student at SKA Academy of Art and Design in Duluth, led the contest’s 132 entries from 70 public, private and home schools statewide. As the grand-prize winner, the 15-year-old will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and have his artwork featured on T-shirts at the 2022 Youth Birding Competition.

The art contest is part of the annual birding competition, 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 15, and ends Saturday, April 23. 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 event culminates in an awards ceremony and banquet April 23 at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield. New this year, participants can attend either in-person or virtually. The deadline to register teams for the Youth Birding Competition was March 31.

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

  1. Primary (pre-K through second grade): roseate spoonbill by Jackson A. Gore, 5, a kindergartener at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School in Augusta.
  2. Elementary (third-fifth grade): tufted titmouse by Brooklyn Barnett, 10, a fifth-grader at W.L. Swain Elementary in Calhoun.   
  3. Middle School (sixth-eighth grade): American robin by Annabelle Weng, 11, a sixth-grader from SKA Academy of Art and Design in Duluth.

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 connected more with nature and discovered 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. or TERN – friends group of the Wildlife Conservation Section – and others including the Georgia Ornithological Society and Georgia Audubon.