Date of Issue
January 10, 1997
Birds of Canada
Series Time Span
1996 - 2001
Perforation or Dimension
12.5 x 13
Ashton-Potter Canada Limited.
Designed by Raymond Bellemare. Based on a painting by Pierre Leduc.
Bird watching and stamp collecting are refined passions which, when practiced with patience and perseverance, give endless pleasure. These two great pastimes come together now in the latest edition of the series Birds of Canada. In 1996 the series began featuring images of Canadian birds with an issue of four domestic stamps (the pileated woodpecker, Atlantic puffin, ruby-throated hummingbird, and the American kestrel) and three types of postal stationery. The graceful and realistic renditions by artist Pierre Leduc were overwhelmingly popular with collectors around the world. Canada Post, therefore, takes great pleasure in announcing the 1997 issue of its Birds of Canada series. On the issue day of January 10th, stamp collectors and bird watchers will be thrilled by Pierre Leduc's newest artwork. The western grebe, mountain bluebird, northern gannet, and the scarlet tanager will be making their appearance on 45¢ stamps, and two pre-stamped envelopes will feature the western grebe and mountain bluebird. These birds have been selected with the advice of ornithologist Dr. Henri Ouellet to represent the various regions of Canada and a broad range of natural classifications. Western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) are aquatic birds found mostly in prairie provinces. They do, however, winter on the coasts of British Columbia and occasionally in the vicinity of Okanagan Lake. They are excellent swimmers and divers, and often lower themselves so that only their head or bill breaks the water. They use their feet and wings to propel themselves at a fantastic speed, and their courtship involves a lovingly synchronized race across the water's surface. The call of these attractive birds is a plaintive creek-creek that carries over a great distance. Western grebes are thought to be related with loons, and are reluctant flyers and not terribly graceful on land. Their body shape, feet and wings are more suited to water where they spend most of their lives. A grebe's nest is constructed of aquatic vegetation either built up from the bottom of a pond or a lake, or attached to a floating mass of water plants. The parents are a model of equity, taking turns to incubate the eggs, transport and defend their young. When threatened, the adults will take the young under wing and dive with them. Western grebes eat small fish, and with an average weight of 1.5 kg are the largest of the five grebe species to be found in Canada.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamp Details, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1997, p. 5-7.
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