Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center Hosts “Michigan Birds” Photo Contest


The Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center atP.J.Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon is holding a “Michigan Birds” photo contest. Submit a favorite photo from last year or take a trek through the woods, fields or wetlands this winter or spring and try your hand at capturing the beauty of a native  . The deadline for submission is at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 27.

From bird feeders to lakeshores, there are many places to find photo-worthy subjects. Some examples include cardinals, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, American goldfinches, bald eagles, ospreys, wild turkeys, hooded mergansers, buffleheads, sandhill cranes and barred owls.Michiganhas a very large, diverse group of birds. During any season, birds can be seen in every corner of the state in all types of habitats. Some common non-native species that will not be accepted into the contest include mute swans and all types of domestic or exotic fowl such as farm-raised chickens or geese.

Entries are limited to two photos per person. Photos must be securely matted without a frame or glass, with a minimum size of 8 x 10 inches and maximum size of 11 x 16 inches. An entry fee of $3 per photo must accompany each submission. Please include photographer’s name, address, email, phone number, name of the bird and location where the photo was taken on the back. This contest is intended for amateurs only; the works of published photographers will not be considered.

An impartial team of volunteers with knowledge of photography will judge the photos. Winners will be announced May 5. Three winners will be chosen. First, second and third place winners will receive gift cards of $100, $50 and $25 respectively. The contest is sponsored by the Gillette Nature Association in conjunction with the association’s annual Spring Blooms in the Dunes event held May 5 and a weeklong observance of International Migratory Bird Day, in cooperation with Ottawa County Parks, which will include programs and hikes scheduled for May 5-12. For more information on these events and other programs and hikes scheduled to highlight birds of Michigan, go to or

Photos may be submitted by mail or delivered to: Gillette Nature Association,6585 Lake Harbor Road,Muskegon,MI 49441. Winning photos will be on display at the Gillette Visitor Center through June 20. Entries may be picked up on or after June 20; those not picked up within two months will become property of Gillette Nature Association.

Questions may be directed to Elizabeth Brockwell-Tillman, park interpreter, at 231-798-3573. The Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center is one of 10 visitor centers managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Visit  for more information.

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