2021 Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Photo Contest winners

Press Staff Writer

        Use of natural areas including parks and wildlife refuges has skyrocketed in the past year, as people seek to escape the pressures of COVID-19 and find some peace in the chaos.
        Some of those people visited with cameras and submitted their best nature photos to the 2021 Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Photo Contest.
        The contest was open to entries of photos taken on federal public lands (national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges like Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio’s only national wildlife refuge complex). Typically, the contest accepts photo prints from August through September, which are then displayed in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, held the second week of October. This year, the contest turned virtual as the Visitor Center remains closed.
        Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge received more than 300 entries in four categories – Birds, Landscapes/Plants, People Enjoying Nature, and Wildlife Other Than Birds. Photos were reviewed by a panel of judges, who announced the following winners:
        1st place: Cedar Waxwing, by Jeffery Vogelpohl.
        2nd place: Owl and Chick, by Fred Drotar.
        3rd place: Flight at Sunset, by Jamie Cunningham.
        Honorable mention (HM): Landing in the Wildflowers, by Ben Ayling; Black-Crowned Night Heron, by Bob Clark; Swan Lake, by Dick Brumbaugh; Extraordinary, by Amanda Bisang; Great Egret in Flight, by Eunice Koebel; Here Fishy, by Douglas Hise and Great Egrets – Conflict in the Mist, by James E. Mathews.
        1st place: Crane Creek Sunrise, by Dave Smith.
        2nd place: Invigorating, by Amanda Bisang.
        3rd place: Grand Tetons Majesty, by Sherri Winegardner.
        HM: Sunrise on the Refuge, by Bob Clark; Mountain Surprise, by Jeff Holcomb; Tranquility, by Tony Everhardt and Echo Canyon, by Ami Horowitz.
        People enjoying nature
        1st place: Photographing Nature at Seney Wildlife Refuge, by Pam Rogers.
        2nd place: Shooting the Rapids, by Ben Ayling.
        3rd place: White Water Rafting in Tennessee, by Jeralyn Baker.
        HM: Perspective, by Judi DePeal; Photographing History, by Joan Pearse and Smoky Day in the Smoky Mountains, by Molly Dresser.
        Wildlife other than birds
        1st place: Monarch Migration, by Judy Knipp.
        2nd place: Assateague Horses and Egrets, by Joan Pearse.
        3rd place: Raccoon, by Michelle Wittensoldner.
        HM: Mr. Moose, by Eunice Koebel; I Wonder What They Are Looking At? by Karen Schutz; Bullfrog, by Kenda Lentz; Mink Moment, by Tajinder Singh; Three Mountain Goats, by Brian Smith; Fox Kit Peeking Out, by Matthew Pun; My Growl is Worse than my Bite, by Jeff Holcomb and Landing Gear Set, by Kellie Kenniston.
        Youth 13-17:
        1st place: Mother Swan and Babies, by Mia Pesci.
        2nd place: Cranes, by Jayden Kang.
        1st place: The Pathway to Nature, by Jayden Kang.
        2nd place: Swallow Tree, by Mia Pesci.
        People enjoying nature
        1st place: A Walk in Nature, by Jayden Kang.
        Wildlife other than birds
        1st place: Golden Sun, Golden Wings, by Maya Sarikonda.
        2nd place: Leopard Frog, by Mia Pesci.
        3rd place: The Grasshopper, by Jayden Kang.
        Youth 5-12:
        Birds – 1st place: Crane Sitting in Green, by Daniel Kang.
        Landscapes/plants – 1st place: Sea Shell on Dry Land, by Daniel Kang.
        Wildlife other than nature – 1st place: Froggy, by Daniel Kang.
        The 2021 Best of Show Award went to “Crane Creek Sunrise,” by Dave Smith, of Tiffin.
        The Friends are asking the public to help decide the 2021 People’s Choice Award winning photo. Visit friendsofottawanwr.org to view all of the photos and cast a vote for your favorite.
        The People’s Choice Award will be announced Thursday, Oct. 14 in celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week. Top winners in each category will be featured in a 2022 Federal Public Lands Calendar which is available for purchase on the Friends website for $15. Proceeds will help to support Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge’s conservation efforts, focused on youth development, public access projects, and land acquisition and restoration.
        Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is a 501 (c)3 non-profit established in 1997 to promote the preservation of the natural and historical resources of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, the only National Wildlife Refuge Complex in the state, located at 14000 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor.


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