2014 First-Class Forever Stamp,Songbirds: American Goldfinch

# 4890 - 2014 First-Class Forever Stamp - Songbirds: American Goldfinch

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US #4890
2014 American Goldfinch – Songbirds

  • Pictures an American goldfinch
  • 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 American goldfinch and its unique song.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a painting of an American goldfinch perched on a branch of thistle.  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:  At times called the “wild canary,” the American goldfinch is one of the more common and most recognized songbirds in North America.  Its habitat spreads throughout the United States and Canada as well as Mexico in the winter.  A social bird, this finch can often be seen foraging in flocks in fields or at backyard birdfeeders.

The male is especially easy to identify with his bright lemon-yellow body feathers contrasted against his jet-black cap.  Like other birds, the male takes on his brilliant plumage in the spring, the standard start of breeding season.  However, this tiny songbird does not actually begin breeding until late summer.

The American goldfinch is among the very few vegetarian songbirds, eating neither bugs nor berries.  Its diet consists almost exclusively of seeds.  Since it cannot supplement its breeding season diet with insects, the finch must wait to build its nest later in summer when seeds become available.

With sweet songs and a striking appearance, it is no wonder that this finch has three times been named an official state bird.  In Washington State in particular, it even beat out the ever-popular western meadowlark for the title.  After 23 years of debate over which bird better represented the state, the American goldfinch was officially named Washington’s state bird in 1951.

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US #4890
2014 American Goldfinch – Songbirds

  • Pictures an American goldfinch
  • 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 American goldfinch and its unique song.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a painting of an American goldfinch perched on a branch of thistle.  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:  At times called the “wild canary,” the American goldfinch is one of the more common and most recognized songbirds in North America.  Its habitat spreads throughout the United States and Canada as well as Mexico in the winter.  A social bird, this finch can often be seen foraging in flocks in fields or at backyard birdfeeders.

The male is especially easy to identify with his bright lemon-yellow body feathers contrasted against his jet-black cap.  Like other birds, the male takes on his brilliant plumage in the spring, the standard start of breeding season.  However, this tiny songbird does not actually begin breeding until late summer.

The American goldfinch is among the very few vegetarian songbirds, eating neither bugs nor berries.  Its diet consists almost exclusively of seeds.  Since it cannot supplement its breeding season diet with insects, the finch must wait to build its nest later in summer when seeds become available.

With sweet songs and a striking appearance, it is no wonder that this finch has three times been named an official state bird.  In Washington State in particular, it even beat out the ever-popular western meadowlark for the title.  After 23 years of debate over which bird better represented the state, the American goldfinch was officially named Washington’s state bird in 1951.