Wildlife Forever Announces 2022 Songbird Art Contest Winners

Several ABC staff members helped decide which pieces soared to the top of this children’s art contest created to raise awareness about songbird conservation.

Wildlife Forever and the USDA Forest Service recently announced the winners of their second annual Songbird Art Contest, which celebrates bird-themed art created by children and teenagers. The contest serves to bring awareness to the importance of songbirds and their critical conservation needs, and was launched last year to expand on the success of Wildlife Forever's long-running Fish Art Contest.

Wildlife Forever selected a panel of more than two dozen individuals from across the conservation community to judge the competition. Both state and national winners were then selected from more than 2,000 entries. This year, three American Bird Conservancy (ABC) staff members participated in the judging: Bill Bartush, ABC's Partnership Coordinator for the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture, Steve Holmer, ABC's Vice President of Policy, and Steve Riley, ABC's Director of Farm Bill Programs. 

“Probably the greatest thing about this contest is that it shows thousands of children, along with teachers, parents, and siblings, that birds are beautiful and that they matter,” Riley said. “Introducing people to the wonder of birds is the first step to them caring enough to conserve them and their habitats. Birds are an onboarding point in the lives of many who care about nature and the health of our ecosystems.”

For this year's contest, artists were given a list of birds to choose to depict that included the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Chipping Sparrow, Brown Creeper, and Cedar Waxwing. After students selected and researched their species, they created both an artistic rendition and a piece of creative writing. 

“The detail and color of the birds revealed great excitement on the part of the artists — you could tell there was great joy and love of nature in the creations,” Holmer said. 

Winners were judged in four age categories: Kindergarten to third grade, fourth to sixth grade, seventh to ninth grade, and 10th to 12th grade. Twelve national winners will receive prize packages from Wildlife Forever. International and essay winners will be announced in the coming days. 

All of the winning art pieces can be found on Wildlife Forever's website


American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and X/Twitter (@ABCbirds).

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