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HomeBirdEight Nice Causes to Love the Migratory Chicken Stamp

Eight Nice Causes to Love the Migratory Chicken Stamp


Not only for hunters, the Duck Stamp has raised greater than $1 billion for conservation, helped birds from Buffleheads to Bobolinks, and created a wealth of effective artwork within the course of. Shopping for a Duck Stamp is a optimistic conservation motion any birder can take.

a stamp showing two ducks on the water, one with a red head and gray-and-black body; the other brown, in the background
The 2022-2023 Migratory Chicken Searching and Conservation Stamp, painted by James Hautman. Extra about this portray.

Initially revealed July 2014; up to date July 2022.

Among the many U.S.’s many spectacular federal and state lands, it pays to recollect the wildlife havens which might be the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge system, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This method of greater than 500 areas is managed primarily for the good thing about wildlife, and they’re nice locations to see birds of every kind, together with waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.

Top-of-the-line methods to help Nationwide Wildlife Refuges is to purchase a Migratory Chicken Searching and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp,” yearly. It’s a win-win-win: it proudly proclaims your help of public land, it funnels cash on to the refuge system (to the tune of some $40 million per yr), and it will get you free entry to the refuges all yr.

Shopping for a Migratory Chicken Stamp is a straightforward and direct approach for folks to contribute to grassland and wetland conservation. In 2013, the New York Occasions ran a chunk on the annual stamp artwork competitors; now right here’s our personal checklist of eight causes to like the stamp:

1. Over $1 billion for conservation and counting. The primary stamp was issued in 1934. It value $1 (about $18 in as we speak’s {dollars}) and offered 635,001 copies. By legislation, the funds raised go on to habitat acquisition within the decrease 48 states. By now, stamp gross sales have surpassed $1 billion and helped to guard 6.5 million acres of wetland and grassland habitat.

2. A 73-year custom of lovely wildlife artwork. The Migratory Chicken stamp is a lovely collectible and an awesome inventive custom. Since 1949, the design of every yr’s duck stamp has been chosen in an open artwork contest. The 2022 stamp, exhibiting a pair of Redheads, was painted by James Hautman, a veteran of the competition who now has six wins to his title (see a gallery of all stamps again to 1934).

3. A cut price at $25. Ninety-eight cents of every greenback spent on a stamp goes on to land conservation for the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System. This $25 buy is probably the only easiest factor you are able to do to help a legacy of wetland and grassland conservation for birds.

4. It’s rather more than geese. Waterfowl hunters have lengthy been the principle supporters for this system—the stamps are a requirement for anybody 16 or older who desires to hunt. However the funds profit scores of different chook species, together with shorebirds, herons, raptors, and songbirds, to not point out reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, native crops, and extra. (See a full illustrated historical past of how the Duck Stamp helped save North American waterfowl, from Chicken Academy.)

5. Save wetlands; save grasslands. Since 1958, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has used stamp revenues to guard “waterfowl manufacturing areas”—over 3 million acres—inside the essential Prairie Pothole Area. The identical program additionally protects declining prairie-nesting birds within the face of accelerating lack of grasslands. In consequence, refuges are among the many finest locations to search out grassland specialties corresponding to Bobolinks, Grasshopper Sparrows, Clay-colored Sparrows, Sedge Wrens, and others.

6. The advantages are attractive. A number of the most numerous and wildlife-rich refuges throughout the Decrease 48 have been acquired with stamp funds. Likelihood is there’s a wildlife refuge close to you that has benefited.

7. It’s your free move to refuges. A migratory chook stamp is a free move for a whole yr to all refuges that cost for admission—so your $25 may even prevent cash.

8. As birdwatchers, let’s get in on the key. Although it’s lengthy been a fixture in searching circles, the Migratory Chicken Searching and Conservation Stamp is without doubt one of the best-kept secrets and techniques in all of chook conservation. It’s time to purchase and present your stamp!

(Due to the Associates of the Migratory Chicken/Duck Stamp for assist in getting ready this publish.)

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