On March 3, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will issue Forever stamped envelopes (various sizes but a single design) featuring the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).
The USPS will celebrate one of America’s favourite backyard birds on the Barn Swallow stamped envelope, which features a large illustration of a barn swallow perching below a smaller illustration showing the bird in flight.
The barn swallow originally nested in caves; however, as man-made structures began to fill the North American landscape, the birds adapted by building their mud nests under the eaves of barns, houses and bridges.
Barn swallows are acrobatic flyers, and a single bird can catch and consume thousands of insects in one day.
Art director William J. Gicker designed the stamp with original art by Matthew Frey.
THREATENED IN CANADA
According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the barn swallow is well monitored in Canada by the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS).
“BBS data show little change in the population from the 1970s to the late 1980s followed by a steep, persistent decline through the late 2000s,” reads the Status of Birds in Canada website. “Population declines occur in all Bird Conservation Regions. Causes for the decline remain unclear. Because of this decline, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada assessed the Barn Swallow as Threatened in 2011 (COSEWIC 2011a).”