The 3-cent multicolored Eastern Bluebird (Scott 2478) definitive was issued on June 22, 1991, at the Topex ’91 stamp show in Aurora, Colorado. Two other definitives were issued at the same time—the 1-cent American Kestrel and the 30-cent Cardinal. Like the American Kestrel, the Eastern Bluebird expressed its denomination as a zero with a value digit (03).
Michael R. Matherly designed the yellow, cyan, and black stamp, which American Bank Note Company printed on a Miller four-color offset sheetfed press. It was perforated 11 on an L perforator. The stamp was printed by plates of four hundred subjects and distributed in panes of one hundred, ten across and ten down. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘A’ was printed alongside the corner stamp. “© USPS 1991.” and “USE CORRECT ZIP CODE ®” were printed in the selvage.
The eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a medium-sized thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards. The eastern bluebird is approximately 6-8 inches long with a wingspan of 10-13 inches, weighing 1-1.1 ounces. Adults have a white belly. Adult males are bright blue on top and have a red throat and breast. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, a brownish throat and breast, and a grey crown and back. Eastern bluebirds are found in the eastern United States.
The Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri (1927) and New York (1970).
Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1991
Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1996
Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds (http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Eastern_Bluebird.html)