As a result of its size and diversity of environments, Canada provides habitats for a great variety of birds. Among the larger and better-known birds are: the Great Blue Heron - a tall and stately wader; the Great Horned Owl - a powerful and ferocious nocturnal hunter; the Spruce Grouse - a species almost exclusively Canadian in range and so tame it is known as the "fool hen"; and the Snow Goose - a large, snow-white migrant, which breeds in the high Arctic. This year, Canada is host to the XIX International Ornithological Congress, which will take place in Ottawa from June 22 to 29. Jean-Luc Grondin, one of Canada's best-known painters of birds, was commissioned to provide the paintings for these four stamps. He has portrayed the birds in flight, as if startled by the intrusion of an observer. The typography was designed by Pierre Fontaine of Montreal.
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