P223 Duck Stamps
These stamps are commonly referred to as “duck stamps,” but their
correct name is “U.S. Migratory Bird Hunting and
Conservation Stamps,” as shown on the poster. The migratory
birds include not only ducks, but also swans, geese, and
other waterfowl. The stamps represent an extremely
successful United States Government program.
President Herbert Hoover signed the Migratory Bird
Conservation Act in 1929 to authorize the acquisition and
preservation of wetlands as waterfowl habitat. The law
failed to provide funding, so five years later Congress
passed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act to fill this
need. The stamp is required to hunt water- fowl in the fall
and winter. The stamps are valid from July 1st of one year
until June 30th of the next, thus the two-year date.
Over 98% of the income from the stamps is actually used for
wetland acquisition and preservation. The fees have paid for
580 national wildlife refuges containing more than 150
million acres. The program proved so successful that all
fifty states now issue their own stamps. Similar programs
have been adopted by other countries, including Canada,
Australia, Mexico, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
This subject has very broad appeal. The stamps are purchased
not only by hunters, but by stamp collectors, those who
support conservation efforts, and people who really enjoy
the magnificent engravings. Each stamp is a work of art in
its own right.