The annual issue of Canada Post's Birds of Canada series is an eagerly-anticipated event amongst collectors across the country. The series is valued as much by general collectors for its stunning illustrations of Canada's splendid bird life as it is by thematic collectors for its meticulous portrayal of diverse species. The four domestic-rate stamps feature exquisite artwork by noted illustrator Pierre Leduc, who has captured the very essence of the Lapland longspur, the Arctic tern, the golden eagle and the rock ptarmigan.
A graceful member of the gull family, the Arctic tern breeds throughout Ellesmere
Island, northern British Columbia, southern James Bay, central Quebec, Newfoundland, and along the coast of Eastern Canada. It measures between 35.6 and 45.7 centimetres in length, but a long tail makes the bird appear much larger. When breeding in large colonies, the tern becomes particularly agressive in defending its nest and chicks, attacking intruders who get too close - humans included. The nest is nothing more than a slight depression in the ground, in moss, or on bare rock.
About the Stamp
In researching which birds to include in the sixth issue of Canada Post's Birds of Canada series, consideration was given to geographic balance along with various types and classifications. Many experts in the field were consulted and ornithologist Dr. Henri Ouellet assisted in the selection of the featured four birds. Sadly, Dr. Ouellet did not live to see the completion of his work. Noted scientific illustrator and wildlife artist Pierre Leduc from Stoneham, Quebec, created the acrylic paintings used by Montreal designer Raymond Bellemare. Leduc has provided the illustrations for all six Birds of Canada issues.