Artists of all ages are invited to try their hand at depicting one of New Mexico’s most colorful upland birds as a participant in this year’s High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival poster contest.

The contest is among several events that will celebrate the 12th annual festival, scheduled April 19-21 in and around Milnesand in eastern New Mexico. The festival, limited to the first 100 registrants, still has spots available. The $125 entry fee covers guided morning trips to view prairie chickens on their leks; birding and educational field trips; five meals; and a commemorative poster.

More information about the festival is available on the Department website,, or by contacting Tish McDaniel, (575) 762-6997 or

The poster contest deadline for original artwork submissions to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is March 15, 2012. The grand prize winning entry will be reproduced on the annual festival poster, and the artist will receive $300. The other top winners among three age categories: adult, grades 7-12, and grades K-6, will receive $50. Prize money is courtesy of the Grasslans Charitable Foundation.

Any two-dimensional media, including but not limited to prints, oils, pastels, acrylics, water media, pen and ink, graphite, photography, digital and mixed media will be considered. Images should represent the lesser prairie chicken and its habitat.

Entries must be received by March 15 in the Public Information and Outreach Division, Department of Game and Fish, 1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, NM 87507. Entries will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope, or may be picked up at the Department office in Santa Fe after March 30. Artists should submit 35mm slides, prints, high-resolution digital images or original work. Digital images can be sent by email to Artwork must include the artist’s name, address, phone or e-mail, and entry category. For more information about the contest, please call (505) 476-8004.

Image courtesy New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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