American Coot Selected for 2014 Duck Stamp Art Contest

by Aaron Meier

The Nevada Waterfowl Association (NWA) has selected the American Coot for this year's Nevada Duck Stamp Art Contest.

The 2014 Nevada Duck Stamp Art Contest is sanctioned by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners, with the winning artwork to be featured on the 2014-2015 state stamp.

All interested artists are encouraged to enter the contest, whether residing in Nevada or elsewhere. Entries must be an original creation, in any drawing medium and must be received by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) no later than October 18, 2013. Contest rules are available on the NDOW website at, or by calling (775) 688-1998 for more information.

Coots are medium-sized, chicken-like birds that are members of the Rallidae (rail) family. Although the American Coot (Fulica americana) is commonly mistaken for a duck, they actually belong to their own distinct order. Where a duck has webbed feet, a coot has broad lobes on their toes. American Coots typically live in wetlands and open water bodies in North America in groups called covers or rafts. The bird is a highly social species with flocks sometimes numbering in the thousands.

The American Coot is typically 13-17 inches in length. Adults have a short, thick, white bill and white frontal shield, which usually has a reddish-brown spot near the top of the bill between the eyes. Males and females look alike, but females are smaller.

Entries will be judged by seven individuals, including two members of the NBWC and five others as appointed by the Nevada Waterfowl Association. The names of the top ten finalists will be announced by NDOW on November 18, 2013.

In the state of Nevada, any person 12-64 years old who hunts any migratory bird except mourning or white-winged dove, snipe, coot or moorhen (gallinule) is required to purchase a state duck stamp. Money from the sale of Nevada Duck Stamps is used for projects approved by the Commission for the protection and propagation of migratory game birds, and for the acquisition, development and preservation of wetlands in Nevada.

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