A painting of a pair of California quail has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winning entry in the 2016-2017 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. The painting was created by Roberta “Roby” Baer of Redding, a wildlife artist who also won the 2015-2016 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest.
Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the annual contest is held to determine the official design for the upcoming year’s California Upland Game Bird Stamp.
Artists submitted their own original depiction of a California quail. The setting and details were determined by the individual artists, but entries had to include at least one adult California quail and be representative of the species’ natural habitat in California if a background was included.
The entries were judged Thursday by a panel of experts selected for their knowledge in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. Designs were judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.
The judges cited the anatomical accuracy and the proper habitat represented in the winning painting, and one judge pronounced it a “well-colored image that accurately represents a California quail and will lend itself well to being a stamp image.”
“I thought that it would be interesting to place the habitat in the forefront of the painting by adding oak leafs and empty acorn shells,” said Baer, who researched her painting by observing quail cavorting beside her residence, which adjoins a greenbelt. “Quails are such a cute bird — there is nothing more adorable than their bobbing topknots when they work their way up a hill.”
An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The validation replaces the stamp through CDFW’s Automated License Data System, but the stamp is still produced and available to hunters upon request. Money generated from upland game bird validation sales are dedicated solely to upland game bird-related conservation projects, hunting opportunities and outreach and education. CDFW annually sells about 175,000 upland game bird validations and distributes approximately 17,000 stamps.
Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request a free collectable stamp by visiting www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. An order form is also available on the website for collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps.
Mark Thone of Shakopee, Minn., placed second in this year’s contest. Don Miller of Fortuna placed third.
Matt Meshriy, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 322-6719
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958