Arago: 25-cent Grosbeak

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25-cent Grosbeak

The 25-cent multicolored Grosbeck definitive was issued on May 28, 1988, at the NAPEX stamp show in Arlington, Virginia. The booklet of two ten-stamp panes featured a rose-breasted grosbeck and a saw-whet owl. The stamps were se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern, the first booklet to be so formatted.

The magenta, cyan, yellow, and black stamp was designed by Chuck Ripper, printed on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601), and distributed in two panes of ten, five owl and five grosbeck stamps per pane with the two designs se-tenant vertically and horizontally. Gravure printing cylinders with 480 subjects were used to print the stamp. One group of four cylinder numbers and registration marks appear on each pane binding stub. The stamp was perforated 10 on the Goebel booklet machine stroke perforator.

The rose-breasted grosbeck (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large seed-eating bird in the same family as the northern cardinal. The adult is about 7.5 inches long and weighs 1.6 ounces, with dark upperparts, white underparts, and a large pale bill. The adult male has a black head, wings and upperparts, and a bright rose-red patch on its breast. Its wings have white patches and rose red linings. The adult female has dark grey upperparts, a white stripe over the eye, streaked underparts, and yellowish wing linings.

The rose-breasted grosbeck's breeding habitat is open, deciduous woods across most of Canada and the eastern United States. This species migrates to southern Mexico and south through Central America to Peru and Venezuela. The rose-breasted grosbeak forages in shrubs or trees for insects, seeds and berries, and also catches insects in flight.

References:

Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1988

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


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