Calling all nature lovers; it’s time to pick your favor snapshot of a critter or landscape for the fourth annual Birds & Butterflies amateur photography contest.


The year’s contest is called “Bluebirds Over South Carolina.” In October, the local chapter of the North American Bluebird Society is hosting its national convention in Aiken. Some of the contest submissions will be included in a calendar and Birds & Butterflies store owner Ron Brenneman said that in honor of that event, it will be a compilation of bluebird photos. A total 10 percent of the calendar sale proceeds will go to the S.C. Bluebird Society which is a local nonprofit, Brenneman said.


But, for the contest itself, photos of any wildlife or natural scenery in South Carolina will be accepted.


“We receive a wide range of photos,” Brenneman said. “Even though we have specific guidelines, it’s still pretty wide open.”


The categories include critters, scenery and photographs by the youth.


Photographs of wild birds, mammals and butterflies would fit into the critter category. Domestic animals are not included.


Scenery submissions would include photos of flowers and landscapes.


The youth category consists of both critter and scenery photographs taken by participants 16 or younger.


Brenneman said his favorite part of the contest is not only seeing all the beautiful pictures but witnessing the excitement of the participants of all ages having their work on display.


Each category will have a first and second place winner as well as a “People’s Choice” award.


The entry fee is $5 per photo. Each participant can submit up to two unaltered photographs. The photos should be 8-by-10 inch prints attached to a 11˝-by-14 inch mat board. Do not use frames or foam board.


Names, addresses, phone numbers, photo titles and locations must be included on the back of each entry.


Entries will be accepted from July 29 to Aug. 3 and can be dropped off at Birds & Butterflies located at 117 Laurens St. N.W. in downtown Aiken.


Photographs will be on display starting Aug. 12 until Aug. 17.


For more information, contact Birds & Butterflies at call 803-649-7999 or email birdbflies@aol.com.