Thur., December 1st, 2022 to Tues., February 28, 2023.

It is already December which means once again the Urquhart Butterfly Garden, in partnership with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, is holding a Winter Photo Contest. Please see the poster below for submission guidelines.

You may take your photographs in Canal Park (including from the observation platform) as well as in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.

There are only two categories:
Birds and Other Wildlife – identification required  
Natural Winter Scenes – includes plants, landscape shots and etc.

Wildlife is easier to see in the winter.  There are dozens of little Hooded Mergansers in the canal right now and a lot of other bird life.  The beavers have been busy, and you will see one if you are observant in the early evening.

Please remember that when you submit your pictures in February, you must include your name, address, and phone number.

Best of luck to all!


A link to the entry form may be found HERE:

ALL submissions are due by 11:59 PM Tues., February 28, 2023. Late submission will not be considered.

All photos entered (up to 3 per category) may be entered using a single form. Repeat submissions will not be considered. Any questions please contact:


There are many excellent digital resources for help with plant and wildlife identification. Fortunately, most are free of charge.

Winter Plant identification is difficult, at times impossible, and is therefore optional for the winter contest. We have included a plant ID link for any interested in broadening their natural history knowledge.   

Correct identification of birds and all other wildlife is required and can be accomplished with the resources provided. Incomplete or incorrect identifications are factored into the judging process.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to for ID hints if you are truly stumped.

Hamilton Naturalists’ Club Birding Checklist:
Download a free checklist to the birds of the Hamilton Study Area (HSA), a circle with a 40 km radius centered on Dundurn Castle.

The All About Birds website, Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
Read species accounts and compare similar species. Also Links to the Merlin Bird ID App.

The Merlin Bird ID App:
Upload photos for AI assisted identification. A caution: While Merlin is often correct, it is in development and may result in errors. It will typically point you in the right direction but treat it as a starting point.

The Sibley eGuide to Birds App, Version 2:
Comes at a cost of $19.99 but also serves as a traditional field guide. Hard Copy of the Sibley Guide also available.

Bug Guide:
Upload photos for ID help or browse entries


iNaturalist Canada (plants, birds, insects, mammals):
An excellent resource for ID help and storing observations. Works better with a (free) registered account but can be used without.

One thought on “WINTER 2022-23 PHOTO CONTEST

  1. Congrats to all the winners and honarary entries in the Winter contest! Winter is hard to find good shots in all that snow, rain and cold … but if there is a will, there is a way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s