2014 34¢ Hummingbird
This stamp pictures a stylized digital image of a blue hummingbird. When it was issued, it satisfied the postcard rate. The stamp was issued in pane and coil formats.
Hummingbirds are equipped with many unusual characteristics. Scientists are trying to unravel the mysteries of this – the world’s smallest birds.
The male in many hummingbird species is known for its brilliant colors. The secret to the hues is not pigments in its feathers, but color cells on the top layers. When light hits these cells, the iridescent colors shine. In the shade, the same feathers show muted tones. The male flashes his plumage during breeding displays or to intimidate territorial intruders.
A hummingbird’s nest may be smaller than a walnut shell or a few inches around. Silk from spiders’ webs is often woven in to hold the nest together. Experts found the silk allows the nest to expand as young birds grow inside.
The hummingbird must spend most of its day finding nourishment to avoid starvation because its metabolism is so fast. Authorities are still exploring how the ruby-throated hummingbird can fly 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico without stopping during migration.
By using high-speed photography, scientists have determined the end of a hummingbird’s tongue splits in two when it touches liquid. Each section is made of a hollow tube that opens flat, then closes to trap the fluid when the bird draws its tongue out of the nectar.
This stamp was one of more than a dozen designed by Nancy Stahl. The hummingbird is one of many stylized animals she has created for stamps. Stahl has been the artist behind some holiday and patriotic stamps as well.
Value: 34¢ Postcard rate
Issue Date: February 7, 2014
City: Kansas City, MO (no First Day ceremony)
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 9½ Vertical
Quantity: 400,000,000 (in coils of 100)