Date of Issue : 2 February 2015
New Zealand Post launched a special stamp to mark World Wetlands Day. This year, the stamp features the black swan. The issue was released on the 2nd of February.
The black swan (Cygnus atratus), also known as the kakīānau, is one of the most common waterfowl found in New Zealand, with a population of approximately 50,000 across the country. Mainly found on lakes, estuaries, harbours and freshwater ponds, black swans are a legal game bird in most parts of New Zealand.
The black swan is covered in jet black feathers, with striking white feathers visible beneath the wings of adult swans The black swan has a bright red bill with a white band, red eyes and light grey legs. There is little difference between the male and female birds, though the females tend to be smaller. Black swans are slow, yet graceful swimmers on the water and tend to be territorial on land.
The nesting season for black swans generally occurs in the winter months from around July, with colonial nesting beginning around September through to November. Black swans are mostly monogamous and pair for life, usually nesting in the same spot each year, tending and rebuilding their nest as necessary. A typical breeding season will yield between four and eight eggs, with an incubation period of around 40 days. Black swans defend their nests, aggressively attacking any intruder with their wings and beaks.
The Game Bird Habitat Stamp programme was set up to raise funds – from the sale of the game bird hunting licences, stamp collection and related products – for projects aimed at protecting and enhancing wetlands and game bird and other wildlife habitat.
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Cover from Germany
Cover from Chauri Chaura
Chauri Chaura is situated at State Highway between Gorakhpur and Deoria, 30.5 kilometres from Gorakhpur. Chauri Chaura came into prominence in 1922 when its inhabitants whole-heartedly participated in the Non-co-operation movement started by Gandhi and was scene of famous Chauri Chaura incident, when, after the police had shot and killed several demonstrators, a police chowki (station) was set on fire by a mob of angry citizens, killing 22 policemen inside. The incident took place on 4th Feb 1922.