2014 First-Class Forever Stamp,Songbirds: White-Throated Sparrow

# 4891 - 2014 First-Class Forever Stamp - Songbirds: White-Throated Sparrow

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US #4891
2014 White-Throated Sparrow – Songbirds

  • Pictures a white-throated sparrow
  • 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 white-throated sparrow and its unique song.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a painting of a white-throated sparrow 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:  The song of the white-throated sparrow is often translated as, “Sweet Sweet Canada, Canada, Canada.”  This is not surprising, as the vast majority of the species summers there.

The summer breeding habitat of the white-throated sparrow covers most of Canada, but extends only to the northern-most portions of the mid-western and northeastern United States.  So it is known known as a “winter visitor” in much of the US, where flocks frequently dapple bushes and hedgerows from October to April.  This sparrow is also drawn to well-stocked birdfeeders, and it is quite common to spot one in residential areas.

Many sparrows are small, drab, brown birds that are difficult to identify.  Birders often refer to them collectively as “LBJs” or “little brown jobs.”  This sparrow, however, can be easily distinguished by its black crown stripes, snowy-white throat patch, and yellow “eyebrows.”

Though classified as an American or “New World” sparrow, the name “sparrow” is inaccurate.  When settlers came to the New World, they assigned the name to birds that resembled the European, or “Old World” sparrows.  Actually, this songbird is not even closely related to those European sparrows after which it was named.

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US #4891
2014 White-Throated Sparrow – Songbirds

  • Pictures a white-throated sparrow
  • 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 white-throated sparrow and its unique song.

About the stamp design:  Pictures a painting of a white-throated sparrow 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:  The song of the white-throated sparrow is often translated as, “Sweet Sweet Canada, Canada, Canada.”  This is not surprising, as the vast majority of the species summers there.

The summer breeding habitat of the white-throated sparrow covers most of Canada, but extends only to the northern-most portions of the mid-western and northeastern United States.  So it is known known as a “winter visitor” in much of the US, where flocks frequently dapple bushes and hedgerows from October to April.  This sparrow is also drawn to well-stocked birdfeeders, and it is quite common to spot one in residential areas.

Many sparrows are small, drab, brown birds that are difficult to identify.  Birders often refer to them collectively as “LBJs” or “little brown jobs.”  This sparrow, however, can be easily distinguished by its black crown stripes, snowy-white throat patch, and yellow “eyebrows.”

Though classified as an American or “New World” sparrow, the name “sparrow” is inaccurate.  When settlers came to the New World, they assigned the name to birds that resembled the European, or “Old World” sparrows.  Actually, this songbird is not even closely related to those European sparrows after which it was named.