New Zealand Post has honoured the country’s national bird - Kiwi on postage stamps seven times since 1988. Five new round shaped stamps in different colours featuring all five species of kiwi in their habitat were released on 4th July.
A $1.20 green coloured stamp features a brown kiwi while another $1.20 blue coloured stamp depicts a great spotted kiwi. A $2.40 pink stamp features a little-spotted kiwi, a $3 red stamp features the tokoeka kiwi and a yellow $3.60 stamp features the rowi or Okarito brown kiwi.
Kiwis are flightless, mostly nocturnal, tailless birds with nostrils, hairlike feathers, and a long, curved beak. The brown kiwi is well-known and is found majorly in on New Zealand’s North Island. The great spotted kiwi is the largest and the least-known species found mostly on the South Island. All little-spotted kiwis come from a small number of birds released on Kapiti Island in 1912. The tokoeka kiwi is found in four different forms. Haast is a threatened type, Fiordland, and southern Fiordland love the mountains while the Rakiura type is unusually active in daylight. The rowi is the rarest of them with a natural population of about 550 birds found in Okarito.
New Zealand Post had issued a 6-penny green stamp in 1898 featuring a kiwi for the first time. The round Kiwi definitive was introduced in 1988. Since then, several stamps featuring Kiwis have been released by New Zealand Post.
Image Courtesy: New Zealand Post