2014 First-Class Forever Stamp,Songbirds: Western Meadowlark

# 4882 - 2014 First-Class Forever Stamp - Songbirds: Western Meadowlark

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US #4882
2014 Western Meadowlark – Songbirds

  • Pictures a western meadowlark
  • One of 10 stamps picturing different species of songbird


Stamp Category: 
Commemorative
Set:  Songbirds
Value:  49¢ First Class Mail Rate (Forever)
First Day of Issue:  April 5, 2014
First Day City:  Dallas, Texas
Quantity Issued:  400,000,000
Printed by:  Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Offset
Format:  Double-sided Booklets of 20
Tagging:  Nonphosphored Type III, Overall Tagged

Why the stamp was issued:  To commemorate the western meadowlark and its unique song.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a painting of a western meadowlark perched on a fence post with a morning glory flower growing up the side.  Artwork by Robert Giusti.  The stamp also includes the species’ common name.

First Day City:  In addition to the Dallas, Texas, First Day of Issue city, there was also a First Day of Sale ceremony held at the Philadelphia National Stamp Exposition in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  They offered two different pictorial postmarks: one from Oaks and one from nearby Audubon, Pennsylvania.  The pictorial cancels were designed by the American First Day Cover Society.

About the Songbirds set:  Issued to commemorate the many species of songbirds that call America home and fill the air with the sounds of their unique tunes.  Includes 10 different designs, each picturing a different species of songbird and its’ common name:  western meadowlark, mountain bluebird, western tanager, painted bunting, Baltimore oriole, evening grosbeak, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, American goldfinch, and white-throated sparrow.  In addition to the birds themselves, the stamps also picture different plants (often found in the birds’ natural habitats) acting as perches.  Designs were created from paintings by Robert Giusti.

History the stamp represents:  A member of the blackbird family, the western meadowlark is easily identified by its bright-yellow breast marked with a distinctive black “V.”  This small, stocky songbird frequents the open grasslands and agricultural fields of the Midwest and Western United States.  It ventures into nearby parts of Southern Canada in the summer months and Mexico in the winter.

The western meadowlark is a very common songbird, though it is more easily heard than seen.  Its flutelike whistles and warbles compose between 10 and 12 distinct songs that can be heard across the fields.  But because this meadowlark both forages for food and builds its nests in the ground, catching a glimpse of the bird in flight is less common than with other songbird species.  Its flight time is limited to brief glides or bursts covering short distances.  At most, a male will fly for up to three minutes to chase away intruders during the spring breeding season.

According to John Audubon, the western meadowlark was once completely overlooked by explorers, despite its striking appearance, numbers, and range.  This earned it the scientific name Sturnella neglecta.  Today, the once-unnoticed western meadowlark has been named the state bird of six states, being surpassed by only the northern cardinal.

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US #4882
2014 Western Meadowlark – Songbirds

  • Pictures a western meadowlark
  • One of 10 stamps picturing different species of songbird


Stamp Category: 
Commemorative
Set:  Songbirds
Value:  49¢ First Class Mail Rate (Forever)
First Day of Issue:  April 5, 2014
First Day City:  Dallas, Texas
Quantity Issued:  400,000,000
Printed by:  Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Offset
Format:  Double-sided Booklets of 20
Tagging:  Nonphosphored Type III, Overall Tagged

Why the stamp was issued:  To commemorate the western meadowlark and its unique song.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a painting of a western meadowlark perched on a fence post with a morning glory flower growing up the side.  Artwork by Robert Giusti.  The stamp also includes the species’ common name.

First Day City:  In addition to the Dallas, Texas, First Day of Issue city, there was also a First Day of Sale ceremony held at the Philadelphia National Stamp Exposition in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  They offered two different pictorial postmarks: one from Oaks and one from nearby Audubon, Pennsylvania.  The pictorial cancels were designed by the American First Day Cover Society.

About the Songbirds set:  Issued to commemorate the many species of songbirds that call America home and fill the air with the sounds of their unique tunes.  Includes 10 different designs, each picturing a different species of songbird and its’ common name:  western meadowlark, mountain bluebird, western tanager, painted bunting, Baltimore oriole, evening grosbeak, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, American goldfinch, and white-throated sparrow.  In addition to the birds themselves, the stamps also picture different plants (often found in the birds’ natural habitats) acting as perches.  Designs were created from paintings by Robert Giusti.

History the stamp represents:  A member of the blackbird family, the western meadowlark is easily identified by its bright-yellow breast marked with a distinctive black “V.”  This small, stocky songbird frequents the open grasslands and agricultural fields of the Midwest and Western United States.  It ventures into nearby parts of Southern Canada in the summer months and Mexico in the winter.

The western meadowlark is a very common songbird, though it is more easily heard than seen.  Its flutelike whistles and warbles compose between 10 and 12 distinct songs that can be heard across the fields.  But because this meadowlark both forages for food and builds its nests in the ground, catching a glimpse of the bird in flight is less common than with other songbird species.  Its flight time is limited to brief glides or bursts covering short distances.  At most, a male will fly for up to three minutes to chase away intruders during the spring breeding season.

According to John Audubon, the western meadowlark was once completely overlooked by explorers, despite its striking appearance, numbers, and range.  This earned it the scientific name Sturnella neglecta.  Today, the once-unnoticed western meadowlark has been named the state bird of six states, being surpassed by only the northern cardinal.