Hooded Mergansers Chosen for Alabama Waterfowl Stamp

A pair of hooded mergansers painted by Jim Denney of Alexander City is the winner of the 2007 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest. The winning artwork will adorn the 2008-2009 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp. Denney is a first-time participant in the contest and faced competition from 17 other paintings, including one from his brother John Denney, also of Alexander City.

First runner-up was a widgeon by Beverly Newton of Trinity, who was third runner-up in last year’s competition. Second runner-up was a redhead by Larry Chandler of Hartselle. Third runner-up was Janette Stoker of Jackson, who painted a pair of flying mallards, and Ainsley McNeely of Mobile was fourth runner-up with a pair of redheads. Both Chandler and McNeely are former winners of the competition.

Entries were judged on suitability for reproduction as a stamp, originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and general rendering. The designs were limited to living species of North American migratory ducks or geese, and winning species from the past three years – Canada goose, canvasback and blue-winged teal – were not eligible subjects for the 2007 contest.

The artwork was publicly displayed and judged by a panel of experts in the fields of art, ornithology, and conservation. Representing the field of art was Joane Grant, who is with the Catholic School System in Montgomery. Hal Earnest, regional director for Ducks Unlimited in Alabama, represented the field of conservation. Representing the field of ornithology was Bill Summerour, a former biology professor at Jacksonville State University who now lives in Silverhill, Ala.

This year’s contest was particularly challenging for the judges because of the caliber of entries, said Summerour. “As a result, we ended up with a tie for first place, the only time this has happened in the history of the contest. Either of the two finalists, the hooded merganser or the American wigeon, would have made a beautiful duck stamp, but when the points were added up it was the hooded merganser the judges settled on as the winning entry,” he said. 

All licensed waterfowl hunters are required to be in possession of state and federal migratory waterfowl stamps signed in ink across the face. Like the federal stamps, state issued stamps are popular with collectors. The artwork competition for the Alabama Migratory Waterfowl Stamp design is held each year in February and is open to Alabama residents only.

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Left to right: Hal Earnest, Jim Denney, Bill Summerour and Joane Grant.

High resolution photos available by emailing Kim Nix