Taiwan is surrounded by the oceans and the seas. Because of its extremely varied topography and humid tropical and subtropical climate, it abounds with plants and wildlife, including a great variety of birds. Apart from endemic resident bird species and subspecies, there are also many migratory birds. Because of differences in their resting and foraging habits, these birds scatter to different altitudes and ecological environments. Therefore, birders may observe different kinds of birds in different part of the island. To introduce the beauty of the birds of Taiwan to ROC citizens, Taiwan Post has planned a series of definitive stamps on this subject. The first set with four stamps in the series features Pericrocotus solaris, Parus varius, Luscinia calliope and Phoenicurus auroreus. The designs of the stamps follow:
(1) Pericrocotus solaris (NT$3.5): This common resident bird is about 18 centimeters in length. The males’ heads and backs are black, their rump and tail feathers are orange-red; and their tail feathers’ roots and two inner tail feathers are black. They have red bars on black wings. They are gray from cheek to nape; their breast and belly are orange-red; and their beak and feet are black. The slender body and brilliant coloration of the bird give it the appearance of a string of red hot chili peppers. Consequently, the bird used to be known as the “red minivet.”
(2) Parus varius (NT$5.00): An uncommon resident bird and an endemic subspecies of Taiwan, it is about 11 centimeters in length. It has a grayish white crown, a black beak, head, throat and upper breast, a leaden black back, wings, tail and feet; and a chestnut belly and undertail coverts. There is a wide white cheek band extending from the corner of its beak to its nape on each side.
(3) Luscinia calliope (NT$12.00): This common winter migratory bird has a length of about 16 centimeters. Males have an olive brown back; white eyebrows and mustache; black lores and chin; a red throat; a beige breast; a white belly and sandy beige undertail coverts.
(4) Phoenicurus auroreus (NT$25.00): This uncommon winter migratory bird is about 15 centimeters in length. Males have a brilliant silver gray forehead, crown and nape; a black face, chin and throat; a salmon pink to tawny breast, belly, rump and undertail coverts; black tail feathers; and red brown outer tail feathers. Their black wings have conspicuous white patches.
(1) First Day Cover to be sold at NT$ 2.00 apiece.
(2) Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.
(3) Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.
(4) Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.
(5) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low-valued stamp to be sold at NT$5.50 apiece.
(6) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$47.50 apiece.
To purchase relative stamps, the public can go directly to the post office branches, or order on line at http://stamp.post.gov.tw.