2015 Federal Duck Stamp Contest Winners

Three brothers from Minnesota took the top three spots in the 2015 Federal Duck Stamp art contest.

Results of the annual art contest were announced recently at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.

Joseph Hautman, of Plymouth, Minn., won the contest with his acrylic painting of a pair of trumpeter swans.  This is Hautman’s fifth Federal Duck Stamp contest win, making him one of only two artists to have his art appear on five duck stamps.

Hautman’s painting will be made into the 2016-2017 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2016.

The Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25 and raises about $25 million each year to provide critical funds to conserve and protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.

Robert Hautman of Delano, Minn., placed second with his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards.  Robert Hautman has won the Federal Duck Stamp contest twice.

James Hautman of Chaska, Minn., took third place with his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards.  He is a four-time winner of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.

Among them, the Hautmans have won 11 Federal Duck Stamp contests.

Eligible species for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were the blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal, gadwall, mallard, and trumpeter swan.

A current Duck Stamp can be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee.

Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from sale of the Federal Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports the purchase of migratory bird habitat for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Federal Duck Stamps can be purchased at many national wildlife refuges, sporting goods stores, and other retailers, through the U.S. Postal Service, or online at http://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/buy-duck-stamp.php.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

2015 New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival

2015 Working Waterfront Festival
September 26-27, 2015
Hours: Saturday 11-6, Sunday 11-5 (whaleboat races Saturday 8-12)
New Bedford Waterfront (Pier 3, State Pier, Steamship Pier)
New Bedford , MA

This year’s Working Waterfront Festival includes demonstrations of maritime crafts such as boat building, net mending, model making, marlinspike artistry, and knot tying.

Exhibits will include industry antiques (historic tools, gear and gadgets) and unusual catches (the unexpected things that come up in the net). Large industry objects such as engines and net drums will be displayed on Steamship Pier. Foodways Demonstrations will include ethnic approaches to seafood as well as demonstration of filleting and shucking.

For more information, visit www.workingwaterfrontfestival.org

October – National Arts and Humanities Month

October is National Arts and Humanities Month  NAHM),  a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America.

National Arts and Humanities Month Dates

October 6, 2015  – BCA10 (Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America), New York City

October 14th – National Art in the Schools Day

October 19, 2015  – 2015 National Arts Awards

October 24-26 – International Artists Days

Best Areas to See Bald Eagles in Winter

Winter is one of the best seasons for viewing bald eagles in North America. Many of the best locations are found along both coasts, major rivers, and migratory bird flyways. The following list includes a few areas where bald eagles may be seen.


Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge (New Hampshire)

At Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a two-mile trail leads to Great Bay where bald eagles, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, red fox, and other wildlife are sometimes present.

New York

Wintering eagles arrive in December with concentrations peaking in January and February. Bald eagles are often found near power plant discharges, tributary junctions, sharp bends, and other areas where open water occurs.

Areas where eagles may be viewed along the Hudson River include Margaret Lewis Norrie Point State Park, Constitution Island from North Dock, West Point Route 6/202 overlook above Iona Island State Park, Riverfront Park, Charles Point, Verplanck waterfront, and George’s Island Park.

Bald eagles are often spotted Upper Delaware River during winter. Potential eagle watching areas inlcude Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area, Mongaup Reservoir, Rio Reservoir.

Along the St. Lawrence River, eagles are often found at, Wellesley Island State Park, Brockville Narrows, and other locations.

Mid Atlantic:

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (Eastern Shore of Maryland)

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has one of the highest concentrations of bald eagles on the East Coast. More than 200 bald eagles winter on the refuge. Held in March, the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Eagle Festival features kids’ activities, guest speakers, exhibits, and bus tours to see active eagle nests.

Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge (Washington, DC)

The first refuge established for the protection of bald eagles, Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge is a leading place to try to spot them. The refuge lies along a section of the Potomac River that is a breeding and resting area for bald eagles. The Great Marsh Trail offers a good overlook from November through March, when eagles are building nests and laying eggs.


Yellowstone National Park is one the most famous areas in the USA for bald eagle watching. Eagles can be seen all year in Hayden Valley and along the Madison River. During the winter, bald eagles are usually present along the Gardiner River.

Mississippi River:

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (near Clinton, Iowa)

At Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, bald eagles sometimes number in the hundreds as they hunt the open water below the river’s locks and dams. The refuge surrounds the lock and provides excellent viewing opportunities. Bald eagle numbers peak from January through March. The refuge holds the Clinton Bald Eagle Watch in January.

Pacific Coast:

Winter is best time of the year to see bald eagles in much of the Pacific Northwest. By December or January, migrating eagles arrive at their wintering grounds.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (Olympia, Washington)

Bald eagles feed on waterfowl and fish where the Nisqually River meets Puget Sound. Washington is one of the largest eagle nesting sites in the country.

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (Portland, Oregon)

In winter, resident and migrating bald eagles feed on waterfowl and fish along the Columbia River. Eagle populations can vary, depending on the Columbia salmon runs.

Klamath Basin:

One of the largest concentrations of wintering bald eagles in North America is found in the Klamath Basin (California-Oregon). Outside of the Klamath Basin, lone bald eagles or small groups of birds may be seen near lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams.

Popular areas for eagle viewing include  Lower Klamath and Tule Lake refuges in winter.

Bald eagles are highlighted at the Klamath Basin Refuges Winter Wings Festival, held  in February.


During the winter season, bald eagles can usually be found in Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area (Shasta and Trinity lakes).

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Related Information

Where To See and Photograph Bald Eagles

Nautical Acronym Stickers

In recent years, oval acronym stickers have gained popularity in North America. The concept originated in Europe, where two letter stickers are used to identify the home country of vehicles. Eventually, the stickers began turning up as overseas vehicles returned home to the USA, Canada, and other countries.

Although original euro style oval stickers displayed a two letter code on a plain white background, American designers were quick to develop a wide range of variations. Oval stickers that feature black letters on a white background remain popular. Some designs include a black border, along with the location name in small font.

One of the first euro style oval stickers to gain popularity in the USA featured the acronym “OBX” (Outer Banks North Carolina).

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