U.S. # 4994
2015 35¢ Magnificent Frigatebird
In Christopher Columbus’s journal from his first voyage to the New World, he wrote about a seabird that “does not alight on the sea...” He was referring to the magnificent frigatebird.
This bird spends much of its life in the air. Taking advantage of thermal winds over the ocean, the frigatebird ascends to altitudes of up to 8,200 feet. The species can fly over 130 miles while searching for food in the tropical Atlantic waters. When it spies suitable prey, the bird swoops down and grabs the fish from the surface of the water. Because it does not have waterproof feathers, it cannot sit on the water too long or it would get waterlogged and be unable to fly. This is likely what Columbus observed.
When the magnificent frigatebird finally lands, it prefers to perch in a tree or bush, but will also rest on the ground. During breeding season, a pair of these birds will build a nest together. The male gathers the materials and the female does the construction. A single egg is laid, then incubated by both parents. After the young bird hatches, the pair feed it for the first few months. The male then leaves, and the female continues to raise the chick for almost a year.
Whether the frigatebird is nesting along coastal waters or soaring over the ocean, it is a memorable sight to behold.
The 2015 Coastal Birds stamps feature stylized illustrations by Tyler Lang and were designed by Greg Breeding.
Value: 35¢ Postcard Rate
Issued: June 1, 2015
First Day City: Kansas City, MO
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America/Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset with microprinting in sheets of 200 with 10 panes of 20 per sheet
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11 ¼ x 11
Quantity Printed: 50,000,000 stamps
The 2015 Coastal Birds were the first postcard rate issues to be released as Forever stamps (with “Postcard” replacing the denomination, so it’s clear what the stamps are to be used for.