The annual contest is sponsored by the Nevada Waterfowl Association (NWA) and sanctioned by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). All of the winning entries can be viewed on the NDOW website.
"It was a challenge to paint a gray-black bird compared to the colorful ducks I usually paint. I tried to get more color in the water and the aspen leaves were a pop of color," said Beatty. "I’m glad they liked it."
This is not the first time that Beatty has claimed the top prize in a duck stamp contest, winning the Pennsylvania Waterfowl Stamp twice in 2003 and again this year for 2014. She is the only woman to have won the Pennsylvania stamp contest. She has also been named the Ducks Unlimited artist of the year twice (2005 and 2006).
The subject of this year's contest was the American coot. 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.
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.
"I have often observed coots when I was out photographing ducks and always found them interesting, sometimes their heads look like black velvet. It was fun to paint something different, and I enjoy the research," said Beatty.
The Nevada Duck Stamp sells for $10 and is required to be purchased by any person who hunts migratory birds in Nevada. Stamps can also be purchased by collectors and the general public to support Nevada wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. To purchase a collector stamp go to the NDOW website and click on the "Collector Stamp" link. A limited number of Conservation Edition prints may also be issued, and are available for fundraising for wildlife-related and other conservation organizations.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org.