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Winning wildlife images on display at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

RALEIGH — Thirty-one award winning pictures from the third annual Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition will be on display from January 14 through April 30 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. Developed by the Museum and Wildlife in North Carolina (WINC) magazine, the competition is intended to encourage high-quality nature photography and to identify talented wildlife photographers working in North Carolina.

Grand Prize winning photo by Ed Ziegler - White MulletGrand Prize winner Ed Ziegler was walking on the beach at Emerald Isle the week after Labor Day 2007, looking for birds to photograph. As he gazed out into the rolling waves in the early morning light, he realized that he could see schools of fish moving down the beach as each wave peaked. "The waves were alive with fish," he said. Ziegler took photos of the migrating white mullet for a while, producing a photograph that clearly shows the fish "surfing" down the beach in a green wave backed by a blue-green sea.

In the competition's third year, 1,019 photographers submitted 5,484 photographs, including 136 young shutterbugs in the two youth categories. The most popular subject was Birds (907 entries), followed closely by Invertebrates (884) and the landscape category, Peaks, Valleys and Plains (810). Wild Plants received 773 entries and Reptiles & Amphibians 543, rounding out the top five categories.

Competition judges included WINC Art Director Victoria Cumbee; WINC photographer Melissa McGaw; Mike Dunn, coordinator of teacher education for the Museum of Natural Sciences; and professional wildlife photographer F. Eugene Hester, a perennial winner in the Outdoor Writers Association of America photo competition.

This year's competition was sponsored by Great Outdoor Provision Co. All winning photographs may be seen on exhibit at the Museum as well as in the January 2008 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina and online at www.ncwildlife.org.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications, and educational programming. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 am to 5 pm, and Sun., noon to 5 pm. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the Web at naturalsciences.org. The Museum is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, William G. Ross Jr., Secretary.