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Common Loon

Canadian Wildlife


Common Loon



Date of Issue

October 27, 1998




Postal Administration



Canadian Wildlife

Series Time Span

1997 - 2003

Perforation or Dimension

13.5 x 13


Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.


Designed by Steven Slipp. Designed by Alain Leduc. Based on an illustration by Robert-Ralph Carmichael. Engraved by Jorge Peral.

Hidden Date

The date for this stamp can be found near the loon's tail.

Interesting Details


For added security, the words "GAVIA IMMER" are micro-printed onto the stamp.

Loon eggs can be found printed along the edge of the grass near the bottom of the stamp.


This stamp was reprinted on December 13, 2002. The first printing was printed on Peterborough paper, and the second printing was printed on Tullis Russel paper. The main visual difference in the reprint is a UPC barcode that was added to the selvedge of the pane.


Pane of 16 Stamps

Quantity Produced - 718,750
Original Price: $16.00
Perforation: 13.5 x 13
Dimension: 48 x 40 mm
Printing Process: Intaglio printed animal (2 colours), and lithography background (3 colours)
Gum Type: PVA
Tagging: None
Paper: Peterborough Paper (1st run); Tullis Russell (2nd run)

Official First Day Cover

Quantity Produced - Unknown
Cancellation Location: Ottawa ON
Perforation: 13.5 x 13
Dimension: 48 x 40 mm
Printing Process: Intaglio printed animal (1 colour), and lithography background (3 colours)
Gum Type: PVA
Tagging: None
Paper: Peterborough Paper

About Stamp

Continuing the exquisite Canadian Wildlife series launched last year, Canada Post will issue two new high-value definitives - a one-dollar Loon stamp and a two-dollar Polar Bear stamp.

Featured on Canada's dollar coin, the loon is a large diving bird that lives in either fresh or salt water. Loons feed mainly on fins which they catch by swimming underwater - sometimes down to depths of 70 metres. By compressing their plumage to release air and by forcing air from their lungs, loons are able to ride low in the water with only their bills and eyes above the surface. Positioned far back on their bodies, loons' legs are strong water propellers, but they make walking on land awkward. Though they are strong flyers, loons cannot take off from land and must make running starts across the water surface to build speed. Most loons come ashore only for nesting. The common loon is the second largest species of loon in Canada and is characterized by its large size and sharply pointed bill unlike those of ducks, geese or swans.

Designed by Steven Slipp of Halifax, the Loon and the Polar definitives are wonderful wildlife issues that combine both modern and traditional printing techniques - intaglio for the animal portraits and offset lithography for the background colours. The halftone dot of the litho portion is made from a small icon image of each animal, providing one of several hidden security features. Both stamps will be issued October 27; the Loon OFDC will be cancelled in Ottawa, Ontario.


Canada Post Corporation, Canada's Stamp Details, Vol. 7, No. 5, 1998, p. 25-26.

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