Whitesburg KY

Stamp honors cardinal

This photo shows the stamp honoring Kentucky’s state bird, the northern cardinal.

This photo shows the stamp honoring Kentucky’s state bird, the northern cardinal.

The northern cardinal, Kentucky’s state bird, is among four birds the U.S. Postal Service is now celebrating after dedicating the “Songbirds in Snow Forever” stamps at the American Philatelic Society’s Stampshow 2016 in Portland, Oregon.

The stamps are available in booklets of 20, with each of the four stamp designs repeated five times. They feature the goldencrowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa), the cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and the red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis). Illustrator Robert Giusti painted the original designs in acrylic on canvas board, depicting each bird perched on a snow-covered branch.

“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. “And the four stamps … are truly beautiful works of art.”

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks — Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-dayof issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Songbirds in Snow Stamps

U.S. Postal Service

ATTN: Ruth Traynor

PO Box 2089

Portland, OR 97208-2089

After applying the first-day-ofissue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by October 4, 2016.

Ordering First-Day Covers — The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service

Catalog Request

PO Box 219014

Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

The sight of birds sitting on a snowy tree branch and the sound of their songs and calls bring joy in the depth of winter. Though many birds migrate to warmer climes before the snow falls, some hardy birds have ways to cope with the cold and to find food year-round.

In winter, much of the birds’ day is spent looking for food; they consume large quantities to supply the energy to keep warm at night when temperatures plummet. Fluffing their feathers creates an insulating layer of air. Their winter plumage can contain up to 30 percent more feathers than in summer. Many birds are able to slow their metabolism, lower their body temperatures or even reduce their heart rate to help them conserve energy. Some species gather in groups to search for food and to snuggle together at night to maintain body heat.

In addition to Kentucky, the northern cardinal, is the state bird for Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

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