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MailTribune.com
  • Wild winners

    Curtis Mix of Medford tops a record field featuring 334 entries in the 2011 Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest
  • If the economy had been better this year, Curtis Mix might not have won the grand prize in this year's Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest.
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  • If the economy had been better this year, Curtis Mix might not have won the grand prize in this year's Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest.
    But the Medford construction worker — he's a steel erector — hasn't worked since he spent eight weeks this fall erecting the girders for the new Lithia headquarters being built downtown.
    "It's been slow the last several years," says Mix, "so I've really been pouring myself into my photography."
    Mix, 57, who lives in the Griffin Creek area of west Medford with his wife, Susan, says he's been setting up in his backyard "day after day" shooting hundreds of bird photos.
    "I work hard at this," he says.
    And judging from his results in this year's contest, which attracted 334 entries, his effort is paying off. Mix submitted three photos, and all three of them placed in the top 11.
    His grand-prize winner, a yellow warbler singing happily in a tree, was shot at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in far Eastern Oregon.
    An Anna's hummingbird he shot in his backyard placed sixth, while his photo of an evening grosbeak — also shot in his backyard — earned the 11th-highest vote total.
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