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Duck Stamps

photo of a duck and two ducklings

Officially known as “Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps,” Federal Duck Stamps are the longest running series of U. S. stamps. They are also among the largest and most beautiful of stamps, depicting all species of North American ducks, swans and geese.

Duck stamps are revenue stamps, not postage stamps. The first duck stamp was issued in 1934 and cost $1.00. The price has risen over the decades and the stamp has cost $15.00 since 1991. The stamps provide revenue for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase or lease land—valuable waterfowl habitat—for inclusion in the national wildlife refuge system. The Federal Duck Stamp program has protected over 5 million acres of waterfowl habitat since its beginning in 1934 and its success has spawned similar programs at the state and local level.

On this website you can view the beauty and discover the history of Federal Duck Stamps.

photo of a duck

Artistic License – The Duck Stamp Story

The Federal Duck Stamp program is one of the most successful conservation programs ever devised. Since 1934, revenues from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps have been used to acquire millions of acres of natural habitat for America's waterfowl in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Artistic License exhibit, formerly on display in the Jeanette Cantrell Rudy gallery at the National Postal Museum, explores the history of rare and collectible Federal Duck Stamps created as a result of this extraordinary conservation program.

stamp sheet featuring a flying duck

Hunting Permits and Duck Stamps in the Museum's Collection

Each year since 1934 the federal government has issued a "Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp," a revenue stamp popularly referred to as a "Duck Stamp." Funds generated by the sale of the stamp are used to purchase and maintain migratory waterfowl refuges. The program has raised over 670 million dollars to date by the sale of over 120 million Federal Duck Stamps to hunters, conservationists, and stamp collectors.

photo of Jeanette Rudy

Glorious Flight: The Jeanette C. Rudy Duck Stamp Collection

The lovely, alluring duck stamps have captivated many collectors, including Jeanette Cantrell Rudy. The indomitable Mrs. Rudy, however, occupies a niche all her own. Over a fifty-year span, she assembled the hobby’s foremost collection. This exhibit features a sampling of the collection’s premier items, including the first duck stamp ever sold, errors, artist-signed issues, and remarques.

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