2014 49¢ Painted Bunting
The painted bunting is one of 10 different birds pictured on the Songbird stamps.
The painted bunting is perhaps the most colorful of the North American songbirds. The more-colorful males are bright blue, green, yellow, and red, while the females show bright-green hues. This medium-sized finch is common in the southeastern to south-central United States and throughout Mexico, with wintering habitats stretching south throughout Central America.
Despite its vivid plumage, the painted bunting is not always easy to spot. It usually makes its tiny nests in dense thickets, briar patches, and brushes, obscuring it from sight. It also spends a good deal of time foraging for seeds at ground level, further hiding it from view. It can most often be seen during breeding season as it flies up to catch insects or fight off competitors.
The male painted bunting is an aggressive defender of his approximately three-acre turf. If necessary, he will fight other males to the death to protect his territory. Unfortunately, this characteristic also makes the male vulnerable to human capture.
In the mid-19th century, John Audubon noted that thousands of painted buntings were tricked into attacking decoys and shipped to Europe as cage birds. This practice continues in Mexico and Central America despite federal protection.
Illustrator Robert Giusti painted the Painted Bunting and 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¢ Painted Bunting, 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