Montana state bird gets stamp of approval
DALLAS - The following is a press release from the U.S. Postal Service:
You don't need a smartphone to tweet once the Postal Service issues 10 colorful Songbirds Forever Stamps. The dedication ceremony takes place at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in Dallas at the Trinity River Audubon Center , 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way (formerly South Loop 12).
The stamps depict: the western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), the mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides), the western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana), the painted bunting (Passerina ciris), the Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula), the evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus), the scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea), the rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), the American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) and the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)."Songbirds have been singing and delighting humans for thousands of years, so it's only fitting that today they receive their own postage stamps," said U.S. Postal Service Southern Area Vice President Jo Ann Feindt, who will dedicate the stamps. "As you celebrate all of the upcoming events of spring — Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduations and weddings, or whatever the occasion, remember the Songbirds stamps."
Illustrator Robert Giusti of Bridgewater, CT, depicted each bird perching on a fence post or branch embellished with vines, pinecones, leaves or flowers. The paintings appear against a plain, white background. Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, designed the stamps.
Customers may purchase the Songbirds Forever Stamps in booklets of 20 at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724), at Post Offices nationwide or at ebay.com/stamps.
Scheduled to join Feindt in the dedication are Audubon Texas Executive Director Brian Trusty; Trinity River Audubon Center Director of Operations T. Hanson; and, Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation owner Kathy Rogers."Spring migration is turning our skies into a superhighway of migrating birds for the next several weeks, including many of the beautiful species depicted in these stamps," said Trusty. "We hope everyone who has the opportunity to use these stamps will be reminded of the beauty of nature and the importance of conservation as a part of everyday life."
Between 4,000 and 4,500 different types of songbirds can be found around the planet, accounting for nearly half of all bird species. Songbirds are identified by their highly developed vocal organs. Some songbirds, like the crow, have harsh voices, others sing rarely or not at all. All songbirds are classified as perching birds. With three toes pointing forward and one pointing backwards, they can grip branches and grasses with ease.
Why do songbirds make such a glorious sound every morning? In a word, love. Males sing to attract females and to warn rivals to keep out of their territory.
Despite its name, the western meadowlark can be found in midwestern as well as western states, especially in meadows and open fields. Males often serenade the neighborhood from a convenient fence post, and their flute-like songs are as distinctive as their bright yellow breasts, marked with a bold, black "V." The western meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon and Wyoming; as a state symbol, only the northern cardinal is more popular.