2023 40¢ Red Fox (Sheet)
- Covers 40¢ of postage – intended for use by bulk mailers
- Pictures a pencil-and-watercolor illustration of a red fox by famous wildlife artist Dugald Stermer
- Issued in both sheet and coil formats
Stamp Category: Definitive
Value: 40¢ Denominated, mail-use
First Day of Issue: January 5, 2023
First Day City: Fox, Arkansas
Quantity Issued: 10,000,000
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Format: Pane of 20
Why the stamp was issued: To cover the 40¢ rate most often used by bulk mailers for items such as circulars, newsletters, and catalogs.
About the stamp design: The stamp pictures a pencil-and-watercolor illustration of a red fox by famous wildlife artist Dugald Stermer (1936-2011). It also includes Stermer's well-known style of calligraphy to write out the animal's common name (red fox) and scientific name (Vulpes vulpes).
First Day City: The stamp was issued in Fox, Arkansas, with no First Day of Issue Ceremony.
History the stamp represents: Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the largest fox species and can be found across the Northern Hemisphere. While they are called "red," they can be found in a number of different colors including leucistic (white), melanistic (black), and more. In general, red foxes living in the northern parts of their range are larger than those in the southern parts.
Red foxes have longer, narrower heads compared to dogs and live two to four years in the wild. They have strong senses of hearing and smell that allow them to track scurrying rodents from great distances. Both sexes can reach running speeds up to 30 miles per hour and can jump obstacles measuring over six feet tall. Foxes are also excellent swimmers.
Red foxes live in family groups sharing a single territory. Foxes choose a single mate for their entire life. They breed once a year in the spring with females (vixens) giving birth to four to six offspring (kits) after approximately 49-58 days of gestation. Kits are born blind, deaf, and without teeth. They are born with dark brown fur, which changes color as they get closer to adulthood (six to seven months later). Young adults may stay in their parents' territory if food supplies are abundant and will help raise the next generation.