India is rich in all the aspects! Being the seventh largest country in the world, India has a variety of geographical zones with at least three biodiversity hotspots. It is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries and is host to a wide spectrum of flora and fauna.
Interestingly, India is home to nearly 12% of the world’s bird species with more than 1263 bird species in total, which is probably more than what is found in the whole of Europe! In an attempt to commemorate the bird species unique to India, India Post had issued a set of four stamps in 1975. Here they are:
We saw two of these stamps in our previous news articles. You can read them here. Now let’s see the last stamp of these series: Monal Pheasant: The state bird of Uttarakhand and the national bird of Nepal, Monal Pheasant is a bird endemic to the northern regions of India. The males have a stunningly colourful rainbow-like plumage while the female – like other pheasant females – is dull in colour.
A highly communicative bird these Monals use several call types to express meaning to its mate or other birds in its foraging group, or intruding birds. Males also use body displays to attract females like bobbing their distinctive green head-crest and fanning their rainbow coloured tail feathers.
Though found in abundance, constant poaching has created a concern for their decreasing numbers. This bird featured on a Rs.2 stamp was, until 2007, the official state bird of Himachal Pradesh.
Image Courtesy: Mintage World