Arago: 2-cent Red-Headed Woodpecker

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2-cent Red-Headed Woodpecker

The 2-cent multicolored Red-Headed Woodpecker (Scott 3032) definitive was issued on February 2, 1996, in Sarasota, Florida.

Michael R. Matherly designed the black, yellow, cyan, magenta, and light tan stamp, which was printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the six-color Goebel Optiforma webfed offset press (043) and perforated 11. The stamp was printed and distributed in panes of one hundred, ten across and ten down, offset printed by plates of four hundred subjects. One group of five offset plate numbers are printed in the selvage adjacent to one upper-corner stamp and one lower-corner stamp on the same side. “© USPS 1996.” “100 x .02 = $2.00.” and “PLATE/POSITION” and a pane position diagram are printed in the selvage. The words “Red-Headed Woodpecker” appear in black italics below the design in the lower-left corner, and the year date “1996” appears below the design on the left side.

On June 22, 1999, USPS issued a coil version of the 2-cent multicolored Red-Headed Woodpecker (Scott 3045) definitive. In announcing the coil, USPS identified its series as 'Flora and Fauna', the first time the Postal Service used this term. Scott had been listing the series under that title since issuing its 1995 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers.

The light yellow, magenta, cyan, yellow, and black stamp was again printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the six-color Goebel Optiforma webfed offset press (043), but perforated 9¾ vertically. The stamp was printed and distributed in rolls of 10,000, offset printed by plates of 480 subjects. One group of five offset plate numbers were printed on every 24th stamp. In addition, a four-digit counting number in cyan was printed on the back of every 20th stamp. The year date “1999” appears below the design on the left side.

The red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) is a medium-sized woodpecker, approximately 7-9 inches in length, with a wingspan of 17 inches, weighing approximately 2-3.2 ounces.

Adults have a black back and tail with a red head and neck. Their underparts are mainly white. The wings are black with white secondaries. Their breeding habitat is open country across southern Canada and the eastern-central United States. The red-headed woodpecker is one of only four woodpeckers known to store food, and it is the only one known to cover the stored food with wood or bark. It hides insects and seeds in cracks in wood, under bark, in fence posts, and under roof shingles.

References:

Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1996

Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1999

Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds

(http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Red-headed_Woodpecker.html)


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