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09 August 2001
13/2001
Commemorative Issue

Desert Birds

Australia
These stamps are the latest definitive stamps in the Nature of Australia series that began in 1996. Each issue in the series features a different habitat and shows characteristic creatures or plants found within that habitat.

These four stamps introduce the desert habitat using the specific theme of desert birds of the Little Sandy Desert in Western Australia.

The issue includes gummed and self-adhesive stamps and first day covers; a stamp pack and a collector pack; a set of four maximum cards and four postcards (postcards available from retail outlets only).

A new

Painted Firetail (Emblema picta)  

Painted Firetail (Emblema picta)

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These birds take their name from the vivid red markings on the upper tail, face, throat and belly of the male bird. The female is red only about the bill with a small scarlet patch on the belly.

Painted Firetails are sedentary (not nomadic) and live along gorges and within stony, spinifex and acacia hills throughout northern inland Australia. These birds are not particularly gregarious and live in small groups of 5-30 birds on permanent waterholes. The stamp features two male birds.

Variegated Fairy-wren (Malarus lamberti)  

Variegated Fairy-wren (Malarus lamberti)

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This colourful little bird is the most widespread of the fairy-wrens and is found in diverse habitats throughout Australia.

Variegated Fairy-wrens are distinguished by the breeding males

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)  

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)

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The garrulous, gregarious Budgerigar is found throughout the dry interior of Australia. This small green-yellow parrot prefers a habitat of sparsely timbered grasslands, mallee, mulga and spinifex desert. Nomadic Budgerigars travel in flocks of up to 100 birds. They feed mainly on the ground, eating seeding grasses generated from recent rains. The Budgerigar uses trees for shelter and to roost. They can often be found in large numbers chattering in trees bordering watercourses. The Budgerigar is one of the world

Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor)  

Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor)

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This nomadic bird follows the erratic rains throughout the arid regions that supply its food. It travels in flocks, flying in a swift, quirky manner common to all chats, and prefers wellshrubbed acacia, spinifex, mallee and mulga scrub habitats.

Females and non-breeding males are dull in colour. Males assume their characteristic vivid red crowns and breasts during breeding season. A male in breeding plumage, feeding young, is featured on the stamp.

Technical Information

Issue date........................................9 August 2001
Denominations ................................Four x 45c
Designer..........................................Wayne Rankin
Printer (gummed) ............................SNP Ausprint
Paper (gummed) ..............................De La Rue
Printer (self-adhesive, sheetlet) ............SNP Ausprint
Paper (self-adhesive, sheetlet) ..............JAC B100
Printer (self-adhesive, booklets) ............SNP Ausprint
Paper (self-adhesive, booklets)..............CPI C100
Booklets of ten will be bound in sets of 20 booklets, between covers in
copyright notice: This material has been reproduced with permission of the Australian Postal Corporation. The original work is held in the National Philatelic Collection.
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