Located at the Adriana Hess Audubon Center
 2917 Morrison Rd W, University Place, WA 98466   |   253-565-9278

Youth Bird Drawing Contest

Each spring, Tahoma Audubon sponsors a bird drawing contest for Pierce County youth in grades 1-8. Our 18th annual contest is now open for 2017! Teachers, we're also offering a lesson plan (PDF) you can use to incorporate the drawing contest into your curriculum.
You may also want to download the contest poster (PDF).

featuring backyard birds

This year's contest features three backyard birds common in the Pierce County region:

American Robin

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Spotted Towhee

Submission Deadline: April 30

Youth residing in Pierce County in grades 1-8 are invited to participate in our 18th annual art contest by drawing one of the three birds above: the American Robin, Red-breasted Nuthatch or Spotted Towhee

This is a free contest. Awards and prizes will be given by grade categories 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8. Selected artwork will be framed and put on display at the Tacoma Nature Center this summer! 

The 2017 contest submission deadline is April 30. Read below for more important details about the birds, contest rules and the submission form, and the artists' reception.

Presented by:


Draw one of these birds in their natural habitat.

This year's beautiful birds represent species that you're likely to see near where you live in Pierce County.

Wherever the "backyard" is that you look for birds—whether your house or apartment, in a neighborhood community space, or at your local park—these friendly feathered friends can be your gateway to bird watching. 

As you watch these birds, pay attention to the areas where you see these birds. What are the surroundings like? Where do the birds like to spend their time? What types of plants and trees do they seem to use?

Use these observations to inform your drawings—and then think about what you can do to be sure these birds continue to have places where they like to be. 

Teachers, we've put together a lesson plan to help you incorporate the drawing contest into your curriculum. You can download the lesson plan here as a PDF.

American Robin

Learn more about the American Robin.

photo: Mick Thompson

red~breasted nuthatch

Learn more about the Red-breasted Nuthatch.

photo: Mick Thompson

Spotted Towhee

Learn more about the Spotted Towhee.

photo: Mick Thompson

Rules + Submission Guidelines

  • Your drawing must show one of the three birds above in its natural habitat.
  • Your artwork should be on paper not larger than 11 inches x 14 inches.
  • You can use pencils, paints, crayons, pens, markers, pastels or watercolors or any other tool that works on paper!
  • You must include a submission form with your entry. Download the form here (PDF).
  • Entries will be judged based on: 1) Depicting one of the three contest birds, 2) depicting the bird chosen in a habitat natural to that bird, 3) Demonstrating the artistic expression of the student.  
Submissions are due by April 30. To submit your entry, you can:
  • Mail submissions to Tahoma Audubon, 2917 Morrison Road W, University Place, WA 98466
  • Drop off submissions at the Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S Tyler St, Tacoma, WA 98405 
  • After the contest, you can pick up your artwork at the Tahoma Audubon office. Artwork will not be returned via mail. 
  • Awards and prizes will be given by grade categories 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8.
  • In early May, entries will be judged and winners will be notified. 
  • Winners will be honored at a special reception on May 24 and their artwork will be framed and displayed at the Tacoma Nature Center from May 24 - August 31. 
  • All winning entries will receive one complementary annual Family Membership to Tahoma Audubon.

Save the date!

Artists Awards & Reception: May 24, 2017, 6:30 – 8 pm at the Tacoma Nature Center

A special reception for contest winners and prize awards will be given at the Tacoma Nature Center on the evening of May 24, 2017. Selected winners will also be recognized in the June/July issue of Tahoma Audubon's newsletter, The Towhee, and winning artwork will be framed and on display at the Tacoma Nature Center this summer from May 24 - August 31.

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