In 1974 South West Africa (now Namibia) issued the first of what was to become a series of sets depicting Local Bird Life. The set proved hugely popular with collectors and today it remains one of the most sought-after SWA sets. Overall five subsequent bird sets were issued as SWA however this is the most sought-after.
Anyway, read on for some details…
1974 Native Birds Set
This set was issued on 2nd February 1974 and comprises the four values shown above. All values are perf 12.5 x 12 and printed on unwatermarked paper. The following species are depicted…
4c white-tailed shrike (Lanioturdus torquatus)
This species is endemic to the Namibia Region with some being found in neighbouring Angola. Fortunately, they are quite common and unlikely to become threatened in the near future given they favour inhospitable scrub lands.
5c Rosy Faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)
This is another species endemic to the Namibian and Angola desert regions. They remain common and are well established in Aviculture where they are more commonly known as Peach Faced Lovebirds. In captivity, there are now numerous mutations to the degree that the original strain is now quite scarce in captivity.
10c Rockrunner (Achaetops pycnopygius)
This small Warbler species is only found in certain areas of Namibia and southwestern Angola. Fortunately, it is well established in reserve areas and currently, The IUCN Red List has them listed as a species of least concern.
15c Rüppell’s parrot (Poicephalus rueppellii)
Rüppell’s parrots are a relatively small species being only around 9 inches when fully grown. They are fairly common throughout Namibia and are also found in Angola and occasionally in Botswana. They are actually greyer than the stamp image depicts and this unusual colour scheme means they are becoming popular pets.
First Day Covers
An Official Illustrated First Day Cover (FDC) was issued for the set. Virtually every example we have seen is like the one pictured above.
There don’t seem to be many commercial covers around bearing these stamps probably due to them being snapped up by collectors. Even postally used seem scarce with most of the used sets seeming to have come from FDC’s . If you have any please share your pictures with us.
So there we have it a quick run down on this popular set. It is nice to find one which depicts native birdlife and in a world where species continue to disappear, good to see all four species still thriving.
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