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Marshall Islands

22 May 2020

Bird Life (definitive stamps)

Marshall Islands: Bird Life Definitive Stamps, 22 May 2020. Images from Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation and eBay.

Technical Specifications:

BIRDS DEFINITIVE SET 5 V: 6c, $1.45, $7.75, $15.50, $26.35
Country: Marshall Islands
Topic: Birds, Fauna and Flora
Item Number: MAR2001D0
Date of Issue: 22-May-20
Printing Method: Offset lithography

6¢ Crimson-Crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus porphyraceus)

The crimson-crowned fruit dove (Ptilinopus porphyraceus), is a species of bird in the family Columbidae. It is found in American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Wallis and Futuna Islands. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical mangrove forest.

$1.65 Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)

The Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a tern in the family Laridae. This bird has a circumpolar breeding distribution covering the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America (as far south as Brittany and Massachusetts). The species is strongly migratory, seeing two summers each year as it migrates along a convoluted route from its northern breeding grounds to the Antarctic coast for the southern summer and back again about six months later. Recent studies have shown average annual roundtrip lengths of about 70,900 km (44,100 mi) for birds nesting in Iceland and Greenland and about 90,000 km (56,000 mi) for birds nesting in the Netherlands. These are by far the longest migrations known in the animal kingdom. The Arctic tern flies as well as glides through the air. It nests once every one to three years (depending on its mating cycle); once it has finished nesting it takes to the sky for another long southern migration.

Arctic terns are medium-sized birds. They have a length of 28–39 cm (11–15 in) and a wingspan of 65–75 cm (26–30 in). They are mainly grey and white plumaged, with a red/orangish beak and feet, white forehead, a black nape and crown (streaked white), and white cheeks. The grey mantle is 305 mm, and the scapulae are fringed brown, some tipped white. The upper wing is grey with a white leading edge, and the collar is completely white, as is the rump. The deeply forked tail is whitish, with grey outer webs.

Arctic terns are long-lived birds, with many reaching fifteen to thirty years of age. They eat mainly fish and small marine invertebrates. The species is abundant, with an estimated one million individuals. While the trend in the number of individuals in the species as a whole is not known, exploitation in the past has reduced this bird’s numbers in the southern reaches of its range.

$7.75 Long-Tailed Koel (Urodynamis taitensis)

The Pacific long-tailed cuckoo (Urodynamis taitensis), also known as the long-tailed cuckoo, long-tailed koel, sparrow hawk, home owl, screecher, screamer or koekoeā in Māori, is a species of the Cuculidae bird family (the cuckoos). It is a migratory bird that spends spring and summer in New Zealand, its only breeding place, and spends winter in the Pacific islands. It is a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of other bird species and leaving them to raise its chicks.

$15.50 Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

The tufted duck (Aythya fuligula) is a small diving duck with a population of close to one million birds, found in northern Eurasia. The scientific name is derived from Ancient Greek aithuia an unidentified seabird mentioned by authors including Hesychius and Aristotle, and Latin, fuligo “soot” and gula “throat”.

$26.35 Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)

The sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) is a medium-sized woodland kingfisher that occurs in mangroves, woodlands, forests, and river valleys in Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the western Pacific. In New Zealand the species is also known as kotare (from the Māori kōtare).

It is called “sacred” for it was said to be a holy bird for Polynesians, who believed it to have control over the waves. Likewise, the local subspecies of collared kingfisher and other kingfishers in the southwestern Pacific were ascribed venerable power over the ocean.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands currently utilizes the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation as its stamp production agent.  As a result, many of its issues have little to no relevance with topics related to the island.

From Linn’s Stamp News, published 15 January 1998:

World Stamps

Marshall Islands Post renews relationship with IGPC effective Jan. 1

Jan 15, 2018, 1 PM

By Molly Goad

Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation (IGPC) has been appointed the exclusive philatelic agent of the Pacific Island nation of the Marshall Islands effective Jan. 1.

This is not the first time IGPC and Marshall Islands Post have teamed up; IGPC was the first international philatelic agency to represent this former United States administrated trust territory when it began issuing its own postage stamps as a republic on May 2, 1984.

IGPC continued as the philatelic agent for the Marshall Islands until Aug. 1, 1989, when Unicover Corp. of Cheyenne, Wyo., took over that role. On that date, the Marshall Islands issued a set of seven 25¢ booklet stamps (Scott 232-237) and a single $1 souvenir sheet (238) marking the 20th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.

Located in Brooklyn, N.Y., IGPC is the world’s largest philatelic agency, representing more than 70 international government postal authorities.

“Joining forces once again with the Marshall Islands is a very happy day for all of us,” said Sam Malamud, IGPC president. “The history of our two organizations shares a common goal and a driving force to help build the international stamp collecting of the beautiful stamps of the Marshall Islands.”

The announcement from IGPC reported that Marshall Islands Post will welcome 2018 with new stamp issues, including $7 commemorative stamps celebrating the recent royal engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and a sheet of four stamps to honor the Year of the Dog.

The stamps were designed by IGPC and printed by offset lithography. They are available for purchase at all post offices throughout the Marshall Islands and via IGPC.

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