The owls have it on Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp

The 2019 edition of the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp will feature a pair of juvenile barred owls, it was announced Aug. 30 at a meeting of the Ohio Wildlife Diversity Partners at Highbanks Metropark in Columbus.

The owls were photographed by Columbus resident Jayna Wallace in the capital city’s Whetstone Park. The 2019 stamp will reproduce in miniature Wallace’s photo and will be issued March 1, 2019. The Partners help select the annual winner in a design competition; they are a group of wildlife and naturalist organizations and individuals associated with the Ohio DNR’s Division of Wildlife.

Now in its 10th year, the Wildlife Legacy Stamp costs $15, $14 of which goes directly to supporting habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements for the 85 percent of wildlife species that are not hunted, fished for, or trapped, according to Kendra Wecker. She is executive administrator of information and education for the Ohio DNR, Division of Wildlife.

The list of such nongame species is impressive, including 56 mammals, 417 birds – 180 of which nest in Ohio, scores of reptiles and amphibians – from timber rattlesnakes to hellbender salamanders, an array of fish and mollusks, and thousands of insects, among others, according to Wecker.

Stamp purchases by the public help keep common species common, protect endangered and threatened native species, provide for educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts, and help to fund wildlife and habitat research projects. Between 3,500 and 4,000 stamps are sold annually.

The subject for next year’s stamp competition is caterpillars, and the following year it will be cardinals, said Tim Daniel, DOW program coordinator.

The Whetstone Park owls photographed by Wallace come with an interesting side story. A third juvenile sibling fell from the nest and was injured, collected, and shipped to the Ohio Wildlife Center for rehabilitation, according to Stormy Gibson, of the OWC. It was in rehab when the photo was taken, but when the third owlet was returned to the nest, it became the dominant bird among the threesome.

Gibson said that the owlet’s plight and ensuing photograph of the remaining siblings caused quite a stir on the blogging network in the Columbus area, with many interested watchers.

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