Birds of Canada

Posted on Aug. 01, 2017 by Canada Post in Latest Stamps

Following on the tail feathers of last year’s issue, this new flock of stamps continues the Birds of Canada series with five more provincial and territorial representatives from across the country. These avian emblems include the stately great gray owl (Manitoba), a silent and deadly hunter; the imposing gyrfalcon (Northwest Territories), the world’s largest falcon; the agile osprey (Nova Scotia), which executes dramatic dives to catch fish; the regal common loon, a true Canadian icon (Ontario); and the boisterous blue jay (Prince Edward Island), herald of spring.

Designer Mike Savage, of Signals Design in Vancouver, struck a balance between new and old elements for this soaring sequel. Variations in colour and background freshen the look, while many design aspects echo those of last year’s stamps. Illustrator Keith Martin returned with a similar style. To portray the unique forms of his feathered subjects, he took a deep dive into their lives – immersing himself in photos and videos to understand the mechanics of each in flight. With support from avian expert David Gray, he incorporated the complexities of each bird’s markings, through a number of iterations.

“I was struck by the similarities between the three large birds of prey: the great gray owl, the gyrfalcon and the osprey,” says Martin. “I was fascinated by the subtleties in their wing feather patterns. Their nuances make each bird unique and beautiful.”

As for a favourite, neither Martin nor Savage could decide. “It’s a moving target,” says Martin. “When I’m working on a bird, that one is my favourite. When it’s done, I usually don’t like it. Then, time passes and I warm to it again. Today I really like the blue jay but it will be a different one next week.” Adds Savage, “It’s tough to decide between the vibrant colour of the blue jay and dynamic pose and feather detail of the gyrfalcon. Am I allowed to flip a coin?”

Stamp Specifications

birdsOfCanada_2017_bookletCombo
  • Product #: 414051111
  • Layout: Booklet of 10 stamps
  • Price: $8.50
  • Denomination: 5 x Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Kosta Tsetsekas, Adrian Horvath, Mike Savage (Signals)
  • Illustration: Keith Martin
  • Dimensions: 20 mm x 24 mm
  • Printer: Canadian Bank Note
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 6 colours
  • Quantity: 400,000
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birdsOfCanada_2017_souvenirSheet
  • Product #: 404051145
  • Layout: Souvenir sheet of 5 stamps
  • Price: $4.25
  • Denomination: 5 x Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Kosta Tsetsekas, Adrian Horvath, Mike Savage (Signals)
  • Illustration: Keith Martin
  • Dimensions: 114 mm x 92 mm
  • Printer: Canadian Bank Note
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 6 colours
  • Gum type: PVA
  • Quantity: 110,000
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birdsOfCanada_2017_souvenirSheet_OFDC
  • Product #: 404051144
  • Layout: Souvenir sheet Official First Day Cover
  • Price: $5.25
  • Denomination: 5 x Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Yellowknife NT
  • Design: Kosta Tsetsekas, Adrian Horvath, Mike Savage (Signals)
  • Illustration: Keith Martin
  • Dimensions: 190 mm x 112 mm
  • Printer: Canadian Bank Note
  • Quantity: 10,000
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