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Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp

Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Winner for the 2020 Art Competition

Winning artwork for the 2020 Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition, which features a colored pencil drawing of a Canada goose.Congratulations are extended to Julia Phillips, age 13, of Avon, CT, whose colored pencil drawing of a Canada goose was selected as the overall winner of the 2020 Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition. Julia is a student at the Farmington Valley Arts Center and has been drawing since she could hold a pencil. She also loves sculpture and painting. Other than art, Julia likes reading, baking, animals (has a guinea pig and a dog), participates in Girl Scouts, and loves Maine and the beach.

Julia’s artwork will be featured on the 2021 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp. The change to using the Junior Duck Stamp winning art insures that a Connecticut artist represents our state Duck Stamp. Further, the school curriculum associated with the Junior Duck Stamp Contest is geared towards waterfowl and wetland conservation. This helps foster an appreciation for the species being painted by the students and, hopefully, provides students with a better connection to the natural world.

The Junior Duck Stamp Contest is divided into four age groups spanning from kindergarten through high school. Winners in each age group are then judged against each other to determine the overall state winner. Audrey Kolodziej, age 7, of Wallingford won her age group with a colored pencil drawing of wood ducks. Macayla Samorajczyk, age 9, of Oxford, won her age group with a colored pencil portrayal of a ruddy duck. Julia Phillips (the overall winner), age 13, from Avon won her group with a colored pencil drawing of a Canada goose. Marielle Kan, age 15, from the Barn for Artistic Youth in Niantic won the oldest age group with a pair of wood ducks.

As both a required purchase for waterfowl hunters, and as artwork sought by collectors, conservationists and other nature enthusiasts, Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps have great visibility and generate substantial revenue for conservation and environmental education in the state.

Connecticut Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition

Connecticut Waterfowl Association logoYoung Connecticut artists in kindergarten through grade twelve are encouraged to submit their artwork of a waterfowl species in the Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp competition sponsored by the Connecticut Waterfowl Association (CWA). Students are judged in four groups according to grade level. Three first, second, and third place entries are selected for each group. A “Best of Show” is selected by the judges from the 12 first-place winners. The “Best of Show” is then entered into the national Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The first place design from the nationwide contest is used to create a national Junior Duck Stamp for the following year. Junior Duck Stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service for $5 each. Proceeds support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for the students, teachers, and schools that participate in the program.

The Connecticut Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, which is administered by the Connecticut Waterfowl Association (CWA), will begin awarding monetary scholarships to the schools with winners from each age category (kindergarten-3rd grade, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12). The Connecticut Waterfowlers Association, a non-profit volunteer group created in 1967 dedicated to wetlands and waterfowl conservation, has administered this Program since its beginning in 1987. Its mission is to conserve wetlands and waterfowl in Connecticut, and only in Connecticut.

Stay tuned for details on how students and teachers can participate in the 2021 Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition. Please note that the deadline to submit artwork will be March 15, 2021.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program is a unique, multidisciplinary curriculum aligned with national science and visual arts education standards. Through art, it teaches students about wetland and waterfowl conservation, migration and land stewardship. It encourages youth to explore their natural world with a new perspective by inviting them to investigate biology and wildlife management, and challenging them to express and share what they have learned with others. More information about the USFWS Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Program, including helpful youth and educator guides, is available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website

Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps from 1993 through 2021

View the amazing artwork that has graced Connecticut's Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps since the first stamp was unveiled in 1993.

2019 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Art Contest2020 Connecticut Duck Stamp featuring a pair of wood ducks.

A panel of judges selected a depiction of a pair of wood ducks painted by Frank Dolphens, Jr., of Omaha, NE, as the winner of DEEP's 2019 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp Art Contest. In a fitting result for the final year of the current format, a pair of wood ducks adorned the first Duck Stamp print in 2012 when the current artistic contest was initiated. Second place went to JB Basham of North Myrtle Beach, SC, with his painting of a pair of Canada geese, while Broderick Crawford of Clayton, GA, took third with his painting of blue-winged teal. Paintings were judged in six categories: suitability for reproduction, composition, habitat suitability for that species, anatomical correctness, eye appeal, originality, and whether a recognizable Connecticut landmark or habitat was used. Frank’s wood duck painting is the image for the 2020 Connecticut Duck Stamp.

Protect Our Cherished Wildlife Habitat -- Purchase a CT Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp!

Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp dollars deliver results for wildlife and habitat! Migratory bird hunters are required to purchase a Connecticut stamp to participate in migratory bird hunting seasons. Other licensed hunters are encouraged to purchase a Connecticut Duck Stamp (even if they do not participate in the migratory bird hunting seasons) to show their support for the conservation and purchase of wetland habitats. Hunters can purchase stamps for $17 each wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold: participating town clerks, participating retail agents, DEEP License and Revenue (79 Elm Street in Hartford), and through the Online Sportsmen Licensing System.

Non-hunters and others who wish to support wetland habitat protection can also purchase Connecticut stamps for $17 from the Online Sportsmen Licensing System under the "Other" category. Those who are not already licensed hunters or anglers will need to get a Conservation ID number to use the site. Stamps can also be purchased at DEEP License and Revenue in person or by sending a check for $17 to DEEP License and Revenue, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106 (ordered stamps will be sent through the mail).

The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program is a great example of how conservation works -- concerned citizens paying into a program that was formed to protect and enhance vital habitat. Over 3,145 acres of critical wetlands have been protected in our state using Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp funds. These wetlands benefit not only waterfowl, but also a multitude of other wildlife species like herons, egrets, fish, and amphibians.

History of CT’s Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program

1999 CT Duck Stamp

The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program was initiated in the early 1990s when concerned sportsmen worked with the DEEP to develop legislation that would generate revenue for wetland conservation. Modeled after the federal Duck Stamp Program, the Connecticut program requires the purchase of a state Duck Stamp, along with a hunting license, to legally hunt waterfowl in the state. By state law, funds generated from the sale of Duck Stamps can only be used for the development, management, preservation, conservation, acquisition, purchase, and maintenance of waterfowl habitat and wetlands, as well as the purchase and acquisition of recreational rights or interests relating to migratory birds.

The early state Duck Stamps featured waterfowl art from artists across North America. However, since 2003, the stamp has featured designs from local artists. In an effort to generate more interest in the Duck Stamp Program, with the goal of increasing stamp sales and revenues to improve wetland conservation, the DEEP is returning to the more appealing full-color format for stamps and holding a contest to select the artwork for the stamp. Art enthusiasts, stamp collectors, and conservationists can purchase as many stamps as they wish. Full-color prints may also be available at the discretion of the winning artist.

2010-2011 CT Duck Stamp

The first Connecticut Duck Stamp debuted in 1993 with a fee of $5.00. From 1993-2002, the sale of Duck Stamps and prints generated over $1.2 million in revenue. Print sales gradually declined over time and the print program was discontinued with the 2002 Duck Stamp. In order to maintain revenue for growing habitat conservation needs, the cost of the Connecticut stamp was increased to $10 in 2005 and $13 in 2010. Surveys conducted by the DEEP indicated that the majority of waterfowl hunters were behind increased stamp fees. Hunters and conservationists have consistently expressed strong support for the Duck Stamp Program and associated conservation projects. The sale of stamps alone currently generates approximately $50,000 per year.

Duck Stamp Dollars Deliver Results
  • 2000 CT Duck StampOver 3,145 acres of wetlands have been restored or enhanced. Projects have encompassed nearly 50 sites, mostly on state-owned wildlife management areas. In 2011, two more projects, one in Tolland and another in Haddam, were completed using Duck Stamp funds.
  • Specialized large equipment was purchased to conduct extensive marsh restoration work, particularly along the coast.
  • A 75-acre addition to the Wangunk Meadows Wildlife Management Area in Portland was purchased.
  • Duck Stamp funds have generated additional monies for Connecticut through matching grants from federal conservation initiatives. By combining Duck Stamp funds with these additional monies, over $4 million have been available to complete wildlife conservation projects. Thus, Connecticut has received a 4:1 return on Duck Stamp monies.
  • The wetland restoration work funded by Duck Stamps has benefited many wildlife species, including several designated as species of greatest conservation need in Connecticut’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
  • The Duck Stamp Program is a prime example of a user fee program that has greatly benefited not only wildlife, but also the people of Connecticut by improving the health of our local environments.
Conservation Edition Prints of Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Artwork Available for Purchase

Conservation Edition Prints of the 2015 and 2017 through 2020 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps are available in limited quantities. All proceeds from the sale of these prints go into the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to be used for the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats in our state. Those interested in purchasing prints from 2017 through 2020 should contact DEEP Wildlife Division biologist Min Huang at or 860-418-5959. The 2015 Connecticut Duck Stamp print is available from Crittenden Studio at

2020 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by Frank Dolphens, Jr. (prints are $200 each and 4 remarqued prints are available for $250)

2020 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp

2019 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by second time winner Jeffrey Klinefelter (signed prints are $200 each)

2019 Connecticut Duck Stamp

2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by local Connecticut artist Chet Reneson (signed prints are $200 each)

2018 Connecticut Duck Stamp

2017 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by Mark Thone (remarqued prints are $250 and other versions are $200 each).

2017 Connecticut Duck Stamp

2015 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by Guy Crittenden (versions from $125 to $300)

2015 Connecticut Duck Stamp


Content last updated on April 24, 2020.