On the Wing

Official Rules

Call for Entries

From ravens to peacocks, to chickens and sparrows, birds have played in important role in cultures around the world. Their soaring flights and migration patterns have stirred our creative imagination for centuries. Many are viewed as symbols of cleverness, luck, or even death. In recognition of their cultural significance, the Museum of the Red River is accepting submissions for its bird photography contest, On the Wing.

The Museum is accepting submissions in two categories. The “Natural World” category is for photographs of birds simply being birds. This category is for natural photos that receive very little enhancement after the original capture. The second category is “Altered/Mixed Media”. This is where photographers can spread their wings and imaginations and use whatever enhancement and/or mixed media they would like.

The competition is open to artists of all ages and skills residing in the United States. Contestants may submit three (3) separate photos or one (1) triptych set into any category for judging by emailing Brian Hendershot, Head of Communications and Outreach, [email protected] Photos must be submitted before March 16th, 2018. Please read the “Eligible Photographs” and “Judging” section for a full list of rules and guidelines.

Winning photos will be published online and exhibited in the Museum of the Red River’s M. “Jack” Bell Hall, April 24th through May 20th. The competition will conclude with an Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 20th at 1:00 pm.

Entry into this contest constitutes your acceptance of these rules below. Please contact Brian Hendershot, (580–286–3616 or [email protected]) for more information.

Edit: A previous version of these rules stated the show would run to May 13, 2018. The show will now run until May 20, 2018. This page has been updated to reflect those changes. 


McCurtain County Art Club

Who May Enter

This contest is open to all legal residents of the United States.


  1. Natural World: Photos that accurately reflect the subject matter as it appeared in the viewfinder. Contestants may submit photos with conventional post-processing techniques, if it doesn’t change the pictorial content (e.g., cropping, removal of dust, adjustments to color and contrast).
  2. Altered/Mixed Media: Photographs that have been manipulated for artistic purposes by applying extensive digital and/or special effects (e.g., colorizing, collage, photo composites, HDR, etc.). Mixed media (photography and paint; photos and cloth; collages and so forth) will be accepted on a limited basis due to facility constraints. Contact the Museum for more information about submitting mixed media prints.

Eligible Photographs

Photos must be submitted online before March 16th for judging. If your work is selected for display in our galleries, you will be asked to mail a print to us by April 16th. (Finalists will be notified by March 23rd.) Contestants may submit three (3) separate photos or one (1) triptych set into any category for judging by emailing Brian Hendershot, Head of Communications and Outreach, [email protected] Photos must be submitted with a signed Release of Liability and Registration Form. In addition to requirements listed below and in the “Judging” section, online submissions must be:

  1. 300dpi
  2. Saved in RGB mode
  3. Saved in JPG format

If you plan to submit more than one photograph, number each photograph in the title. There is no limit to how large your photos may be. However, if your photo is larger than 25 MB, please send us a link to Dropbox, Google Cloud, or other cloud storage. (Please note, your photo may be reformatted/resampled when displayed on our website in order to facilitate a quicker online experience.)

All submissions must depict birds. Images may be horizontal or vertical in orientation. The Museum of the Red River strongly encourages participants to engage in ethical photography. Your photo may be disqualified if it contains the following content:

  1. Birds that appear stressed or harassed by the photographer
  2. Birds in nests that were taken with wide-angle or macro lenses
  3. Birds of prey (e.g., hawks, eagles) lured with live bait or decoy bait such as fake mice
  4. Nocturnal birds (e.g., owls) taken with a flash at night
  5. Birds in captivity

Additionally, photographs of birds taken by drones will not be accepted. Photos that do not follow these rules will be disqualified. The decision to disqualify a photo is final and at the Museum of the Red River’s sole discretion.


Submissions will be juried into the show by a panel of nature photographers, led by Stephen G. Weaver (Colorado Springs, CO). Weaver is an award-winning photographer with over 40 years of experience. He uses his background as a formally trained geologist to create stunning images that capture the beauty of the earth and its natural systems. More information about Weaver, including samples of his work, can be found online. The panel also includes, Debra Jones, a Texas-based nature photographer, Ford Hendershot, McCurtain County’s naturalist-at-large, and Dennis Wilson, a US Forestry Service naturalist. 

Photographs will be scored based on their technical quality, originality and artistic merit. Inclusion into the exhibit is at the sole discretion of the judges. If your work is selected for display, you will be asked to mail a print to us by April 16th. Please note: due to limitations with the Museum’s hanging system, only properly mounted and framed prints will be accepted. Moreover, photos larger than 48 inches (including frame) will not be accepted. Digital files saved onto CDs, USBs, or improperly mounted prints will not be accepted. Each image must have the following information written on the back or otherwise attached:

  • First and last name
  • Mailing address
  • Submission Category
  • Bird species’ name
  • Location where the photo was shot
  • The camera equipment used

Prints will be returned by mail, if and only if the entrant includes a pre-paid return package with their entry. Contestants may also retrieve photos at the Awards Ceremony held May 20th at 1 p.m. All travel and personal expenses incurred to, from, and during the Awards Ceremony are the sole responsibility of the contestants.


The winning photos will be determined by Stephen G. Weaver. Prizes will be awarded within 45 days of each winner being confirmed. You must submit a mounted and framed print in order to receive a prize. The following prizes will be awarded in each of the two (2) categories.

  • Best of Show – $500
  • First place – $300
  • Second – $200
  • Third – $100

If any prize is returned as undeliverable, if a winner declines his or her prize, or if a winner fails to comply with any of these rules, he or she will be disqualified, and an alternative winner will be selected. Winners are responsible for the payment of any taxes on prizes.

If you’re interested in competing, please complete the required forms and return them with your submission(s). Please call (580) 286-3616 or email Brian Hendershot, Head of Communications and Outreach if you have any questions.

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