2014 49¢ Western Meadowlark
The Western meadowlark is one of 10 different birds pictured on the Songbirds stamps.
The western meadowlark, a member of the blackbird family, 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 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.
Illustrator Robert Giusti painted the Western Meadowlark and the other songbirds in this set perched on a branch or fence post. His artwork can be seen on other stamps including: Tufted Puffins (#4737), Birds of Prey (4608-12), and a Cardinal (2480).
49¢ Western Meadowlark, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate.
Issue Date: April 5, 2014
City: Dallas TX, at the Trinity River Audubon Center
Printed By: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾