Arago: 25-cent Owl

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25-cent Owl

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

Chuck Ripper designed the magenta, cyan, yellow, and black stamp, which was 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 Grosbeak 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 Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) is small, an adult reaching approximately 7 inches in length with a 17-inch wingspan. It has a large, round, light grey face with brown streaks, a dark bill, and yellow eyes, and the under parts are pale with dark streaks; the upper parts are brown with white spots.

This owl's breeding habitat is coniferous forests, sometimes mixed or deciduous woods, across North America. It waits on a low perch at night and swoops down on prey, mainly small rodents. On the Pacific coast, it might also eat crustaceans and aquatic insects. Like many owls, these birds have excellent vision and exceptional vision in low light.

References:

Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1988

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


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