Long-time hobby: Exotic bird stamps


Many years ago in my youth, several interests developed.

Nature in all its God-created forms, carving, certain aspects of wood working and stamp collecting all appealed to me. But more than 72 years have come and gone since that era of my life.

The study of birds combined with stamp collecting resulted in an avid interest in stamps illustrating the world’s birds.

Money involved. Folks collecting birds can spend a considerable amount of money on their collection. Even prints and paintings of birds are costly.

For those modest collectors who don’t want to spend too much, stamps are an alternative.

Postal services worldwide have issued stamps commemorating their native bird species.

Stamp collectors are aware of this line of philately. Nevertheless, if a bird fancier has never imagined this source of bird illustrations, stamps are a new and enjoyable hobby.

Foreign stamps. Collecting stamps picturing exotic birds is easy because many foreign countries issue them.

Collections may include parrots, toucans, birds of prey, water fowl and others.

The Republic of Gabon issued a stamp in 1971 that illustrated the popular African gray parrot. Laos printed postal issues with two differed parrots: the Slatyheaded parakeet and the Moluccan cockatoo from that area.

Several of the 37 species of toucans were illustrated on stamps. Their large bills and vivid coloration made them excellent subjects.

There are many kingfishers pictured – from the African pygmy species on a stamp from Chad to the well-known kingfisher of our region pictured on a Nicaraguan issue.

No bother. A person does not need to go to a lot of bother to begin a collection of bird stamps.

A low-cost mixture often contains these postal issues. The cost is quite minimal and you are investing in your own enjoyment, not profit.

Spurring collections. Also, as you sort through the stamp mixtures, you may discover more than your desired bird subjects. Close observation will reward the collector with diverse animal and reptile stamps, plus reveal some knowledge of the issuing country.

This was my introduction to geography.

Display stamps. The stamps can be displayed according to subject or mixed to suit your desires.

Some place the stamps in picture frames, an album or any other display method. These displays are only limited by imagination.

The U.S. Postal Service has commemorated birds several times.

The most outstanding was the 1982 issue of state birds. These were illustrated by Arthur Singer and his son, Alan.

In 1978, American owls were used in the design of a block of four stamps. The species were the Great Horned, Barred, Great Gray and the Saw Whet.

This introduction may create an interest in other postal stamps. Many companies sell them by mail or watch the postal issues that are available.


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