An Indian Summer morning in Vermont provided the perfect venue for four stamps celebrating a quartet of Birds of Winter Forever stamps September 23.
The stamps were designed by art director Antonio Alcalá with original artwork by Nadia Taylor. As the USPS puts it, “The somber feeling of winter, evoked by the stark white backgrounds, is enlivened by the bold colors of the birds’ plumage in the simplified shapes of the digital rendering.”
Although not a seasoned collector, USPS Dedicating Official Sharon Owens had clearly studied up on her subject when she introduced the new stamps at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee, Vermont:
“The Postal Service has a long tradition of putting birds on stamps to celebrate and raise awareness of these amazing creatures. Over the years our stamps have featured countless displays of our feathered friends ─ lovebirds, songbirds, coastal birds, hummingbirds, migratory birds, birds of prey, parakeets, parrots, as well as the state birds for all 50 states.” First and most frequent of these was and is the bald eagle, first pictured on both 10-cent and 30-cent stamps in 1869.
Best Supporting Actor at the first-day event was a hunting falcon that flew back and forth over the audience between two trainers after the stamps had been dedicated, a highly skilled raptor that would be delighted to make a nice lunch out of any of the four birds on the stamps: the black-capped chickadee, northern cardinal, blue jay and the red-bellied woodpecker.
Issued in booklets of 20, the Birds of Winter Forever stamps are always equal in value to the first class domestic one-ounce letter rate (currently 50 cents).