Songbirds that brighten cold winter days. Four bright stamps released by USPS

August 14th, 2016 is glad to inform our readers that the U.S. Postal Service has released four bright special stamps that celebrate songbirds.

The northern cardinal and three other birds are depicted in this stamp set, which were unveiled during the American Philatelic Society's StampShow 2016 in Portland, Oregon, on Aug. 4-7.

"The Postal Service has a long tradition of putting birds on stamps ‒ to celebrate and raise awareness of these amazing creatures", said U.S. Postal Service Vice President of Sales Cliff Rucker, the dedicating official.
The Songbirds in Snow stamps each features one of four birds: the golden-crowned kinglet, the cedar waxwing, the northern cardinal, and the red-breasted nuthatch. Illustrator Robert Giusti painted the original designs in acrylic on canvas board, depicting each bird perched on a snow-covered branch. He and the art director chose these four birds for their color, attractiveness, and adaptability to the small format of a postage stamp.

The cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) gets its name from its favorite winter food, cedar berries, and the red, waxy tips of some of its wing feathers. One of the few North American birds that thrives on a diet of mostly fruits, the cedar waxwing also consumes the winter fruits of juniper, mistletoe, and crabapple.

A spot of bright red against the white of a snowy tree branch signals the presence of a northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), one of winter's most colorful and beautiful birds. Cardinals usually appear in pairs but can gather in small flocks during the winter to forage for food.

The red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), with its distinctive call like a tiny toy horn, prepares well for the season by caching conifer seeds, its preferred winter food. Stashed in cracks and openings in tree bark, the seeds are collected by the bird as it walks headfirst down the trunk.

Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps using original illustrations by Robert Giusti.