New Zealand Bird of the Year – Part 1

And not a Kiwi in sight

New Zealand’s Bird of the Year Poll – the most important election, after the real one

Part 1: The winners 2015-2019 

New Zealand grabbed everyone’s attention recently with their generally successful response to the COVID virus. And then again with the general election that followed. That’s a pretty high amount of media attention for a country with a population of just over five million. Which, dare I utter it, is actually smaller than Scotland’s.

And New Zealand is not resting on its laurels either, for another great event has now just begun. Despite our own continuing but necessary focus on COVID, it is possible that the Eagle-eyed might just have spotted in recent news that New Zealand has just begun another election. It’s their annual “Bird of the Year” poll! 

Starting from Monday, 2nd November and lasting until Sunday 15th November, voting opens for the 2020 event. New Zealanders are now keenly considering their top five choices for this year, with a winner selected after a number of eliminating rounds and then crowned Bird of the Year or in Maori, Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau.

Part 2 and 3 to follow soon ….. watch this space!


Incongruous Issues

The IGPC website does offer a few opportunities to explore what I have termed incongruous bird stamp issues.  Some of these are reviewed in this article.

Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)

On 16 May 2019, Guyana issued a set of five stamps that celebrated the Inca Tern.  Both the souvenir sheet, which features the $800 value; and the four stamps printed in a second sheet (with values of $100, $300, $500 and $700) are impressive in the design and quality of the photographic images.  A worthy addition to the global catalogue of bird stamps, I would have thought.

But there is, of course, a clue in the title.  The American Bird Conservancy website – where the Inca Tern featured as bird of the week back in 18 July 2014 – describes the usual habitat of this bird as being along the Western edge of South America, from Peru all the way down to Chile.  Its territorial range doesn’t stray much beyond that coast. That is because its natural food source is in the cold waters of the Humboldt [or Peru] Current that flows northwards from the South Pacific Ocean up the Western coastline of South America.

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola Peruvianus)

Browsing through the New Issues catalogue that I receive quarterly from Yvert & Tellier, I came across this new definitive stamp issued by Serpost, the postal authority for Peru, featuring the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola Peruvianus).

There is an immediate curiosity about this stamp: in the Yvert new issues catalogue, on the left-hand side of the stamp is the name of the printer (CARTOR) and the printing date (2019). 

On the right-hand margin is a serial number: 06062. The stamps featured both on the free stamp catalogue website and on the bird theme website also share these characteristics.  In contracts, the images below, from the official Serpost website, don’t show these features.  That may just be a characteristic of the publicity information issued by Serpost for this stamp, both of the stamp and of the First Day Cover (dated 13 January 2020).    

The stamp value at 1.20 Sols is worth around £0.26, which makes me wonder if this is a make up value or has a particular postal use on its own.  Unfortunately, the tariff pages on Serpost are not available as I write this article, so I will have to do some follow up research later.

To read Steven’s full article, click here

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