Commemorative stamps feature our flightless birds

Australia Post is set to commemorate our flightless birds – from the very big to the very small.

Speaking on the stamp release, Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt said: “Australia’s distinctive flightless birds have become iconic symbols both here and overseas. Each beautifully presented stamp showcases the unique features of each bird, and is sure to appeal to bird lovers, the general public and collectors.”

The smallest of all the penguin species, the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) is the only penguin to breed in mainland Australia and Tasmania, and is a contrast to our largest birds, the Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and the Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius).

The two domestic base-rate ($1) stamps and international ($2.30) stamp were designed by Sharon Rodziewicz of the Australia Post Design Studio and feature:

$1 Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) The Emu, which is common throughout much of inland Australia, can reach up to two metres in height and is the second tallest bird in the world, after the Ostrich. The female Emu’s clutch of around eight to 10 dark-green eggs is incubated by the male, who doesn’t eat or drink for the eight weeks until they hatch. He also cares for and protects the striped grey and brown-black chicks for 18 months, until they can fend for themselves.

$1 Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) The only cassowary species found in Australia is the Southern Cassowary, distinguished by its vivid blue face and neck, long drooping red wattles hanging from the throat, and tall horn-like brown helmet or casque. The Southern Cassowary is found in tropical far north Queensland, and like the Emu, the male incubates the blue-green eggs.

$2.30 Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) The Little Penguin or Fairy Penguin, which reaches about 33 centimetres in height, is found around the coast of southern Australia. Spending most of its time foraging at sea, it returns just after dusk to rocky burrows near the beach.

Products associated with this issue include a first day cover, stamp pack, and maxicard. The stamp and associated products are available at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794, and online at auspost.com.au/stamps, from Tuesday 7 May 2019 while stocks last.

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