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Monday Morning Brief | Official Birds of Canada

June 20, 2016 07:00 AM

Denise McCarty reports on the latest bird stamp series from Canada Post as well as the news surrounding a U.S. House bill that would make the postmaster general a presidential appointee. 

Full video transcript:

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for June 20, 2016.

One of the most popular topical subjects is birds on stamps. The American Topical Association offers more than 80 checklists for birds, covering species alphabetically from the albatross to the wren. There also are checklists for birds in general and birds of prey.

Canada Post will begin a new series of bird stamps on July 12. The series, which is scheduled to run for a couple of more years, will picture the official birds of Canada’s provinces and territories.

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Among the birds shown on the first set of five stamps is the Atlantic puffin, the official bird of Newfoundland and Labraador. According to the government website for Newfoundland and Labrador, the largest colony in the western Atlantic of this seabird known for its colorful bill is located at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland. More than 260,000 puffin pairs nest there in the late spring and summer.

Keith Martin, who created the illustrations for the stamps, said that if he were forced to pick a favorite  ̶  it would be the puffin. He told Canada Post, “When its flying, it’s like a missile, but when it lands, it always looks like it’s doing it for the first time. I wanted to reflect that quirkiness in my illustration.”

The other birds featured in this upcoming Birds of Canada set are the great horned owl of Alberta, the common raven of the Yukon, the rock ptarmigan of Nunavut and the sharp-tailed grouse of Saskatchewan.

These bird stamps will be issued as self-adhesives in booklets of 10 and with traditional stamp gum in a souvenir sheet of five. The designs also will be featured on a set of postal cards.

Fred Baumann is reporting on these new stamps in this week’s Linn’s and in a separate column writes about forming a topical collection of birds that have appeared on Canada’s stamps. He emphasizes that you can decide what you want to include in such a collection. For example, would Newfoundland’s Willlow Ptarmigan stamp be included? It was issued in 1897 more than 50 years before Newfoundland became part of Canada.

And, how about symbolic birds, such as the team logo on the die-cut self-adhesive stamp issued April 9, 2001, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team?

In other stamp news this week, Washington correspondent Bill McAllister reports on draft postal legislation the House Oversight Committee released June 15. If this legislation were to become law, it would significantly change the way the United States Postal Service has operated since 1971, including once again making the postmaster general and the deputy postmaster general presidential appointees.

For Linn’s Stamp News and Scott catalogs, I’m Denise McCarty, enjoy your week in stamps and welcome to the first day of summer.