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Northern Pintail

Migratory Wildlife, Canada-Mexico

Title

Northern Pintail

Denomination

45¢

Date of Issue

August 15, 1995

Year

Quantity

4,550,000

Postal Administration

Canada

Series

Migratory Wildlife, Canada-Mexico

Series Time Span

1995

Perforation or Dimension

13 x 12.5

Printer

Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.

Creators

Designed by Debbie Adams.

About Stamp

Four of the many wildlife species that migrate between Canada and Mexico are featured on a se-tenant block of commemorative stamps to be issued August 15, 1995. The wildlife depicted include an insect (the monarch butterfly), a mammal (the hoary bat) and two birds (the northern pintail and the belted kingfisher). The migration habits of each are unique, but all travel for the same reason: to ensure their survival by finding distinct habitats in each country. One of the most widely distributed waterfowl in North America, the northern pintail is a medium-sized bird belonging to a group called "dabbling ducks". This species tips up and immerses its head, neck and front body parts to feed on plants and small invertebrates in shallow water. Pintails dive more often than other dabbling ducks, and often feed in cereal fields during migration. The two sexes are very different in appearance. Both are slender and graceful, but the female is less conspicuous, with duller plumage. Males undergo a complete molt in summer, and lacking wing feathers during this four-week period, cannot fly. The full breeding plumage is replenished by mid- to late-fall, and lasts until the next breeding season is over the following summer. After the male's wing feathers have grown back, migration begins - males in early August, and females after their later molting period. In the November-to-January period, northern pintails are the most abundant ducks in Mexico. The return flights begin in February with the birds arriving in nesting areas as early as April.
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Similar Stamps

Reference

Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, Vol. 4, No. 4, 1995, p. 5, 7-8.

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