Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bird Stamps of the United States

The 159 U.S. postage stamps depicting birds are illustrated in this wonderful plate, courtesy of Chris Gibbons. Ninety-nine species are depicted on the 159 stamps. The Northern Cardinal appears on ten stamps, the Western Meadowlark on seven, Northern Mockingbird on six, Bald Eagle on five, and the Brown Pelican and Canada Goose on four each. Eight species appear on three stamps, 19 species on two stamps, and 33 species on a single stamp.

Growing up in the 1960s with a dual interest in birds and stamp collecting, U.S. postage stamps were a disappointment to me. Only three stamps depicting birds had been issued prior to 1960, with another three appearing in the 1960s. I well remember the excitement generated by the issuance of the 4-stamp owl set in 1978. And then came the 50-stamp State birds and flowers issue of 1982. Since the dark days of the 1960s, the U.S. stamp market has become much more rewarding for collectors of bird stamps, with the following numbers being issued by decade: 15 in the 1970s, 69 in the 1980s, 35 in the 1990s, and 34 so far in the 2000s.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust you've read Dan Koppel's book about his stamp/bird addicted father (To See Every Bird on Earth)? Good reading, though a sad story.

November 15, 2006 9:18 AM  

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