The date for this stamp can be found in the bottom-right corner.
Collectors across Canada have come to anticipate the annual unveiling of the Birds of Canada issue. Indeed, this series, begun four years ago, is one of the most popular in the country. And the '99 slate does not disappoint! Along with four new Birds to feature (the red-winged blackbird, the Northern goshawk, the American goldfinch and the Sandhill crane), this year's issue also features a new format, the Birds of Canada Self-adhesive Booklet of 12.
The American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) belongs to a family of small stubby-billed, short-tailed finches widespread across southern Canada. Males are bright yellow with black wings, tails and caps, and white rumps. Female's plumage is duller with olive upper-body feathers and no black caps. Both have a distinctive melodious call. American goldfinches can typically be spotted in weedy fields, large orchards, and where sunflowers grow.
Pierre Leduc, noted scientific illustrator and wildlife artist from Stoneham, Quebec, created the acrylic paintings used in the Birds designs. They were adapted by designer Raymond Bellemare of Montreal. Leduc and Bellemare have created all the Birds issues released over the past four years. This year's design features a slight stylistic adjustment, however: the typographical bars have moved from the sides of the stamps, where they formerly acted as bookends for the images, to a top-bottom border configuration.