SOCIAL CIRCLE - Four budding bird artists have been chosen as T-shirt Art Contest winners in Georgia's Youth Birding Competition, the state Department of Natural Resources announced.<br />
A yellow-rumped warbler drawn and painted by Decatur's Angus Pritchard led all 121 contest entries. As grand prize winner, Pritchard, 14, a Renfroe Middle School eighth-grader, landed a $100 Michaels gift card and will have his painting featured on T-shirts at the Youth Birding Competition next month.<br />
Art contest coordinator Linda May praised participants and stressed that the focus "isn't just about art."<br />
"It's about getting kids interested in the outdoors and connected to the environment," said May, environmental outreach coordinator for the DNR's Nongame Conservation Section. "Birds are a great hook since they're beautiful, abundant and easy to watch." <br />
The T-shirt Art Contest is part of the Youth Birding Competition, an annual event in which teams of children and teens try to find as many bird species as possible throughout Georgia in 24 hours. This year, the free bird-a-thon runs from 5 p.m. April 25 to 5 p.m. April 26, ending in a banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield.<br />
All youth, from birding newcomers to veterans, are encouraged to register. The deadline is March 31.<br />
Pritchard has been a regular in the art contest and the birding competition
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