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.
Revered for its size and impressive aerial skills, the golden eagle has long been considered a symbol of courage and power by many cultures. It breeds in the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Labrador. The golden eagle measures over one metre in length, and the female is slightly larger than the male, reaching weights of up to 5.9 kilograms. Possessing a wingspan that can reach 1.8 metres across, the golden eagle is a powerful and agile hunter. Its prey consists of small to medium-sized mammals living in open fields, marshes, and along shores of lakes and rivers. Typically, the golden eagle hunts in the early morning hours. Nests measure about one metre in diameter and are built by both parents on rocky ledges of outcrops or cliffs.
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.