- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois’ state bird is now being commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp.

A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday that the Northern Cardinal is one of the birds featured in the new Songbirds in Snow stamps issued last week. Customers are able to purchase the Forever stamps now in many post offices or online.

The series celebrates four birds that brighten winter days.

Cliff Rucker is vice president of sales for the postal service. He says there’s a long tradition to putting birds on stamps, and that the latest series of stamps “are truly beautiful works of art.”

Illinois schoolchildren chose the cardinal as the state bird in 1928, and the Legislature made the designation official the following year.

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