Philately, Stamp Collecting and Thematics - Birds on Stamps

Anyone would intimates that they are a collector of Thematics immediately brings to mind someone who accumulates stamps with pretty pictures.
Yet a serious philatelist who perhaps specializes in Postmarks, Postal History, Boer War or any other specific topic is essentially interested in a certain topic aka ‘Thematic’. Should we look at the subject in that light then virtually every collector is essentially a collector of a certain ‘Theme’.

The Most Popular Thematic
This is said to be ‘birds on stamps’. The collectors of Southern Africa ought to have a field day with this particular theme as the Southern continent abounds with bird life...there is however a slight problem...the Union of South Africa during fifty one years of stamp production did not issue a single stamp which depicts a bird!

South West Africa
The first Bird Stamp

In neighbouring South West Africa they at least came up with one value being the 1931 ½d definitive depicting a Kori Bustard. Between 1931 and 1952 the same stamp is overprinted with three types of ‘OFFICIAL/OFFISIEEL’.

Continued in next column


SWA - 1931

Kori Bustard

Belgian Congo
One of the earliest Central African countries to show ‘birds on stamps’

1939 Leopoldville Zoological Gardens

1 Fr lowest value in the set of 5, SG 226 depicting Marabou Storks and white-backed vultures

In 1951 this Portuguese Colony set an example on how to do justice to Southern Africa’s bird life by issuing a set of 24 values.

30a Sulphur-breasted bush shrike

The Object of this Page
This page is devoted to birds on stamps of Southern and Central Africa and the first part tracks the history of ‘early’ issues depicting birds starting in 1931 with South West Africa and the Belgian Congo in 1939.
The 1951 Angola bird definitive follows the year sequence and other bird stamps continue through the 1950’s and 60’s to circa 1971.

Part I - 1931 to circa 1971 listing inculdes
South West Africa
Belgian Congo
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
South West Africa
Belgian Congo/Congo
South West Africa
Republic of South Africa

Anyone wishing to view the bird stamps of any country in the world, there is an extensive website on the internet that caters for such needs or simply insert into Google ‘the Country name’ plus ‘birds on stamps
I trust you may find this page of interest

Continued in next column
  The second part of this page follows an alphabetical list of seventeen countries (Territories) which includes the various changes of name as appropriate and incorporates the former South African Homelands.
Where practical the majority of stamps are illustrated. By the turn of the 21st century there was an ‘explosion’ of bird stamps by countries such as Angola, Congo, Lesotho and Mozambique...subsequently only a sample of their birds on stamps are illustrated

Part II - Alphabetical Listing
Angola from 1984 Rhodesia from 1970
Bophuthatswana from 1977 Republic of South Africa from 1974
Botswana from 1975 South West Africa from 1974
Ciskei from 1981 Swaziland from 1976
Congo from 2000 Transkei from 1980
Lesotho from 1981 Venda from 1981
Malawi from 1975 Zambia from 1975
Mozambique from 1978 Zimbabwe from 1984
Namibia from 1994  


South West Africa - 1931 Kori Bustard
The Kori Bustard is the largest flying bird native to Africa and is a member of the bustard family.
Sometimes Kori Bustards are found with southern or northern carmine bee-eaters riding on their backs as they stride through the grass.


Registered cover from KOLMANSKOP 22 APR 38
Airmail from SWAKOPMUND 24 IV 38 to London
1½d Postal Stationery card with two Kori Bustard stamps
SG 74 ½d in a pair making up the 9d Airmail rate to UK
Posted and cancelled WINDHOEK 13 IX 50
1931 OFFICIAL Overprint SG 013
1952 OFFICIAL Overprint SG 023

Rare Commercial use on Cover
OHMS envelope with oval datestamp on reverse
Sent Registered to UK with ½d & 1d (two pairs + a single)

SG 018 & 019 - 4d Registration + 1½d postage
Cancelled WINDHOEK 11 IX 48

An ‘Early’ classic bird set
Angola 1951 definitive issue of 24 values, a popular and sought after set that eclipsed any other bird theme for Southern Africa
Ten years later RSA, SWA and Bechuanaland finally depicted some birds on their stamps
Angola’s next set of birds appeared more than 30 years later in 1984
For more Angola issues see Part II further down this page

Giant kingfisher
Yellow-headed barbet
Open-bill stork
Ground hornbill
Barrow's bustard
Golden oriole
Sharp-tailed starling
Fan-tailed whydah
Racquet-tailed roller
European bee eater
African skimmer
Eastern long-tailed shrike
White-crowned shrike
Violet starling
glossy starling
Secretary bird
Southern Rhodesia
15 April 1953 Birth Centenary of Cecil Rhodes

A set of 5 values, the 1d includes an open Country scene which shows two
Antelope being stalked by a Leopard with a Cattle Egret in the foreground above ‘1853’
South West Africa - 1954 6d Aerogramme
The 1954 Definitives include 12 values depicting animals and local people
The first custom designed 6d Aerogramme depicts two Ostriches in full flight, the artwork and proofs from the Archives was sold by
Stephan Welz in Johannesburg on 24 October 2001 as lot 188
At left
Original photograph of
two Ostriches in flight

At right
Rejected drawing of an
Ostrich plus a silhouette

Above Photographic Essay

Essay for Ostriches based on Photograph
Above Issued image
Essay for frame
Mock-ups (with various manuscript alterations) for actual layout using a rejected photographic essay depicting only one Ostrich

Rejected ‘Single Ostrich’ design
Mock-up No 1 (Accepted)
Used on Mock-up No’s 1 to 4
Mock-up No 2

Rejected ‘Single Ostrich’ design
Mock-up No 3
Used on Mock-up No’s 1 to 4
Mock-up No 4
Progressive Essay
‘Two Ostriches’ Essay
Completed and Issued Aerogramme - 11.11.1954

Belgian Congo - Congo
15 November 1959
- A set of Wildlife (12 values) includes a 20c Rhino with two Western Cattle Egrets in the foreground
On 19 September 1960 the stamp was overprinted KATANGA
In 1964 the same stamp was surcharged 1F and overprinted CONGO and it was then overprinted REPUBLIQUE DU CONGO

South West Africa
14 February 1961 First Decimal Definitive includes the Lesser Flamingo in flight on the 3c value and on the ground on the 5c
Initially both values with a Coat of Arms watermark on unsurfaced paper followed by various reprints
No Watermark 5c (1965) - Watermark RSA Tete-Beche 3c (1970) Swiss paper and 5c (1968) on Swiss and Harrison paper
No Watermark on Phosphor paper (1973) 3c
For more SWA issues see Part II further down this page

1961 Coat of Arms watermark on unsurfaced paper
Watermark RSA Tete-Beche
No Watermark - Phosphor paper
Commercial use
to England

14c Airmail
3c x 4 + 2c

Official envelope
5c Surface rate
1959 Union of South Africa
At the top of the logo there is an image of a ‘bird’ and that was the
closest the Union came to depicted an actual bird on its stamps

Two years later the Republic definitives included three birds

1959 3d Acadamy

Republic of South Africa (RSA)
31 May 1961 First RSA definitives three out of 13 values included birds - ½c Kingfisher, 3c Shrike and 20c Secretary bird
Original design Watermark Coat of Arms (½c, 3c & 20c) 1961 - 63 No watermark (3c & 20c) 1964 Watermark RSA (20c)
Redrawn design 1964 Watermark RSA (½c & 3c) 1967 - 68 Watermark RSA Tete-beche - Swiss Paper (½c, 3c & 20c)
1969 ½c New design from sheets (Perforation 14 x 13½) or coils (Perforation 14 x 15)
1969 Phosphor frame on Swiss and Harrison paper c, 3c & 20c) 1971 - 72 Phosphor paper (3c & 20c)
1973 Phosphorised Glossy paper - No watermark ½c (from coils only) 3c & 20c
For more RSA issues see Part II further down this page

1961 - 63 ½c Kingfisher
Inscribed ‘Natal Kingfisher’
also named
‘African Pygmy Kingfisher’

Original and Redrawn designs
1969 New design (white frame)
3c Inscribed SHRIKE - Also named ‘Burchell’s Gonolek’
Original and Redrawn designs
20c Inscribed in Afrikaans SEKRETARISVOEL (Secretary Bird)
Original and Redrawn designs

RSA 1966 Fifth Republic Anniversary
The Freedom-bird

The designs for this issue met with much public criticism and the artist exaplained himself in the June 1966 edition of The South African Philatelist...Perhaps the most controversial of the series will be the 2½c stamp which was designed to convey, ‘Freedom and the Future.’ Is there a better symbol of freedom than to be free as a bird to fly? As the Spirit of Freedom glides ever upwards towards the ideals of perfect nationhood the obstructive forces restraining freedom diminish revealing a limitless future which is symbolised by the endless sky above.
Here is a message of hope and faith

2 October 1961
This pictorial definitive includes eight low values from 1c to 12½c depicting birds
When the country became a Republic in 1966, the same stamps were overprinted ‘REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA’ on 30 September 1966

Golden oriole
African Hoopoe
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Cape widow bird
Bee eater
African Grey
Brown-hooded Kingfisher

24 April 1962
A pictorial definitive includes three values (5c, 10c and 50c) depicting birds
On 1 May 1968 the 5c value was surcharged with a ‘3c’ overprint
When the country became a Independent in 1968, the same stamps were overprinted ‘INDEPENDENCE 1968
The next issue of birds on stamps is a 1976 Definitive of 15 values

24 April 1962
6 September 1968
Long-tailed Wydah
Secretary bird
Ground Hornbill
3c on 5c
Independence overprints
For more Swaziland issues see Part II further down this page

Congo previously Belgian Congo
The breakup of the Congo was a messy affair, both political and geograhical and various portions go by different names including Katanga
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as Zaire, DR Congo, DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, East Congo or simply the Congo
There are breakaway states such as Burundi (Independent in 1962) and Rwanda (Established an independent, Hutu-dominated state in 1962)
A selection of Congo bird stamps issued in 1963 are illustrated simply under a title ‘Congo’

20 April 1963

Protected Birds

1F - Shoebill

2F - Marabou Stork

4F - Congo Peafowl

African Sacred Ibis

3F - Greater Flamingo

Black-casqued Hornbill

10F - Grey Crowned Crane

31 August 1963

Protected Birds
20c - Plumed Guineafowl

40c - Abdim’s Stork

5F - Hartlaub’s Duck

Saddle-billed Stork
Great White Pelican

30c - African Openbill

6F - Secretary bird
Southern Rhodesia
19 February 1964 Post Federation Definitives

A set of 14 values, the 10/- depicts two Guinea Fowl
On Row 2, stamp No 2 there is an interesting variety known as the ‘Extra Feather’
on the smaller bird in the background
Rhodesia (UDI)
In October 1964 Southern Rhodesia became RHODESIA and on 11 November 1965 the country declared Independence and
the 10/- definitive was overprinted INDEPENDENCE 11th November 1965
For more Rhodesian issues see Part II further down this page
In February 1966 the 1964 issue was revamped by dropping
‘Southern’ and inscribing the stamps ‘Rhodesia’
Printed in Photogravure by Harrison and Sons in London and
issued on 9 February 1966

In August 1968 Mardon Printers in Salisbury took over and
produced the same stamps using offset Lithogravure
1966 Overprint
Harrison - Photogtavure
Mardon - Litho
When Bechuanaland became a Republic in 1966, the 1961 stamps were overprinted ‘REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA’ on 30 September 1966
30 September 1966 - REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA Overprints
Golden oriole
African Hoopoe
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Cape widow bird
Bee eater
African Grey
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
3 January 1967
First Bird Definitive set of 14 values from 1c to R2
Designs by D.M. Reid-Henry - Printed in Photogravure by Harrison & Sons - London
Golden Oriole
African Hoopoe
Ground-scraper Thrush
Blue Waxbill
Secretary Bird
Crimson-breasted Shirke
Malachite Kingfisher
Fish Eagle
Grey Loerie
Knob-biled Duck
Crested Barbet
Diederick Cuckoo
For more Botswana issues see Part II further down this page
Zambia was Northern Rhodesia
On 24 October 1964 Northern Rhodesia ceased to exist and became Independent Zambia
On 16 January 1968 with the introduction of a new currency (100 ngwee = 1 kwacha) a new defintive was issued
The 20n value depicts South African Crowned Cranes
On 23 October 1969 a set of four appeared for the International African Tourist Year and
the top value of 25n displays a Carmine Bee-eater

Bird stamps issued from 1975 are illustrated in Part II
(lower down on this page)
For more Zambian issues see Part II further down this page

Nyasaland - Malawi
None of the Nyasaland stamps include a bird, in July 1964 the country gained Independence and was renamed Malawi
In November 1968 they issued a very attractive bird definitive with 14 values from 1d to £2
Four of the values were later overprinted for different reasons.

13 November 1968
Bird Definitive (14 Values) - First Day cover to 5/-

Scarlet-crested Sunbird
Red-billed Firefinch
Lilian’s Lovebird
Yellow Bishop

Paradise Flycatcher



Purple Heron
8 February 1971
3/- Value
Surcharged 30t

To cover the cost
of Emergency Airmail
to the UK

Paradise Flycatcher
Carmine Bee-eater
Grey-headed Bush-shrike
Paradise Whydah
Livingstone’s Loerie
18 March 1970

Rand Easter Show
Overprint on 1/6 Shrike
2 September 1970

Decimal Currency Overprints
10t on 1/- & 20t on 2/-

September 1970 - 10t on 1/- Double Surcharge SG 356a
Only two examples on an Airmail envelope to the USA is known
Cancelled with a BLANTYRE 8 FEB 1971 machine cancel

15 February 1971

Decimal Coinage
and Cockerel
For more Malawi issues see Part II further down this page

Basutoland - Lesotho
Basutoland did not issue any bird stamps and the country attained Self-Government in 1965
On 4 October 1966 it became the Independent Kingdom of Lesotho and on 1 March 1971 issued a set of seven with birds
In 1981 the first ‘Bird’ definitive followed and in later years the issues abound with birds on stamps and are too numerous to include on this page

Bald Ibis
Blue Bustard
Painted Snipe
Golden-breasted Bunting
For more Lesotho issues see Part II further down this page

Part II - Alphabetical Listing
From Angola to Zimbabwe (17 Countries)

Angola from 1984
Bophuthatswana from 1977
Botswana from 1975
Ciskei from 1981
Congo from 2000
Lesotho from 1981
Malawi from 1975
Mozambique from 1978
Namibia from 1994
Rhodesia from 1970
Republic of South Africa from 1974
South West Africa from 1974
Swaziland from 1976
Transkei from 1980
Venda from 1981
Zambia from 1975
Zimbabwe from 1984

Angola Bird Stamps
After their classic 1951 set no birds adored Angola’s stamps until November 1984 and in 1992 four stamps depict Rosy-faced Lovebirds
In 1994 there was a 4 value Tourism issue which includes one stamp with four birds on it
In 1996 Angolan birds on stamps became abundant and two sets of 12 each depict Game birds and Humming birds which were also issued in sheetlets
Two seperate miniature sheets that was followed by an Angola se-tennant Composite ‘Fauna’ issue of 12 stamps of which seven include birds

24 November 1984

First bird issue
since 1951
Southern Ground Hornbill
Palm-nut Vulture
Goliath Heron
Great White Pelican
African Spoonbill
Grey Crowned Crane

2 June 1992

Nature Protection

27 September 1994
Tourism (4v)
One with birds

California Quail

Greater Prairie Chicken

Crested Partridge

Sri Lanka Spurfowl

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

Great Curassow

20 April 1996 - Angola’s fourth bird issue
Game Birds

King Quail

Golden Pheasant

Himalayan Snowcock

Temminck’s Tragopan

Red-legged Partridge

Himalayan Monal
20 April 1996


Also issued in sheetlets of 12
Blue-throated Mountaingem
Crimson Topaz
Frilled Coquette
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Common Pheasant
20 April 1996

Angola issued 24 birds stamps
plus two MS in one day

The stamps also in two sheetlets
of 12 stamps each

Marvelous Spatuletail

European Honey Buzzard


Common Kestrel

Red-crested Turaco
27 April 1996
Angola Fauna

Seven out of 12 stamps
with birds

Western Cattle Egret
At Left
African Pygmy Goose

At Right
Egyptian Plover
Other Angola Bird Stamps
12.06.1996 SONANGOL 4v set (2 bird stamps)
25.05.1998 Decade of education in Africa MS (1v) Ostrich
25.03.1999 WWF Strip of 4 Flamingos
25.03.1999 Fauna 4v set (3 bird stamps)
25.03.1999 Fauna 6v sheet (3 bird stamps)
07.04.2000 Animals of the world 4v set (1 bird stamp)
07.04.2000 Animals of the world 6v sheet (1 bird stamp)
07.04.2000 Animals of the world 6v sheet (1 bird stamp)
07.04.2000 Animals of the world 6v sheet (2 bird stamps)
10.04.2000 Birds of prey 4 stamps
10.04.2000 Birds of prey Two Sheetlet of 6 stamps (12 bird stamps)
10.04.2000 Birds of prey Two Sheetlet 3 stamps (6 bird stamps)
10.04.2000 Birds of prey Sheet (4 MS - 4 bird stamps)
13.04.2000 Nature heritage of Angola Two 12v sheetlets (5 bird stamps)
07.08.2000 Millennium 1500 - 1550 17 values (1 bird stamp)
23.02.2005 Rotary 2v sheet (1 bird stamp)

30.10.2006 ‘LUBRAPEX 2007’ 3v (2 bird stamps)
01.06.2010 International day of the child 4v (2 bird stamps)
To View other Angola Bird Stamps follow this link
10 December 2003

Tawny Eagle
Martial Eagle
African Fish Eagle

Verreaux’s Eagle
South African Homeland 1977 - 1994

This Country during its short period in existence issued five sets of four bird stamps
In addition there are a few oddments that includes two Philatelic Foundation sheets
1977 Independence Issue
Releasing a Dove
1989 Children’s Art
A Rooster
10 September 1980

Bird issue by
Dick Findlay

FDC design &
Pictorial cancel at left
Pied Babbler
Carmine Bee-eater
Shaft-tailed Whydah
Dever’s Parrot
14 September 1983

Veld Birds

Dick Findlay

FDC design &
Pictorial cancel at right
Kori Bustard
Black Korhaan
Red-crested Korhaan
Stanley Bustard
1 September 1989
Birds of Prey

C.G. Davies
Black-shouldered Kite
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Lesser Kestrel
Short-toed Eagle
FDC design
for stamps at left
Philatelic Foundation
MS at left

Philatelic Foundation
FDC design plus
Pictorial cancel
12 July 1990 - Sand Grouse - Artist/Designer C.G. Davies
FDC design & Pictorial cancel at left
Variegated Sandgrouse
Double-banded Sandgrouse
Namaqua Sandgrouse
Yellow-throated Sandgrouse
12 February 1993
Chicken Breeds

FDC design

Light Sussex

Rhode Island Red
Artist/Designer Michael C.V. Ginn

Brown Leghorn

White Leghorn

Philatelic Foundation MS

Botswana previously the Bechuanaland Protectorate

Independence on 30 September 1966 and earlier issues illustrated previously (above) include the
1966 REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA overprints and the 1967 Bird Definitive
Besides commemorative sets and definitive overprints, Botswana features 90 bird designs on six definitive issues and issued a total of over 160 bird stamps

Only a sample of the 1978, 1982, 1997 and 2014 bird definitives are illustrated on this page and the complete sets
including the various surcharged stamps may be viewed on the Botswana definitive page

1978 - 2014 Botswana Bird Definitives
1978 Definitives (17 values)
1982 Definitives (18 values)
African Jacana
Green-backed Heron
Giant Kingfisher
Lesser double-collared Sunbird
Grey headed Gulls
Pygmy Goose
1997 Definitives (18 values)
2014 Definitives (14 values)

Pel’s Fishing Owl
Redheaded Finch
White Stork
African Spoonbill
Paradise Flycatcher
Southern Red Bishop
View all the complete sets of Definitives

1975 - 2017 Botswana Commemoratives depicting Birds

23 June 1975 - Rock Paintings in the Tsodilo Hills
6 October 1980 - World Tourism Conference in Manila (1 value)
(4 values + MS)

Lowest value with an Ostrich
looking at Rock Paintings
of two of his kind
Watching Game at Makgadikgadi Pans

Flamingoes flying to right of trees
5 July 1989 - Slaty Egrets
8t - Nest with eggs

15t - Chicks in nest
30t Red - Throated Heron

60t - Pair building a nest

19 April 1983
Endangered Species

4 Values

Lowest value
Wattled Crane

30 September 1991
Tourism Year

4 Values

Three with birds

Okavango Delta

Whistling Duck

35t - Fish Eagles
P2 - Fish Eagles & Ducks

30 August 1993
Endangered Eagles

10t - Long-crested Eagle
25t - Short-toed Eagle
50t - Bateleur
P1.50 - Secretarybird
26 September 1994
Environment Protection
Makgadikgadi Pans

4 values (one with birds)
Lesser Flamingoes
5 April 2000
Scenic Rivers

4 Values
Two with a bird
Saddle-bill Stork
African Skimmer

6 December 2000 - Wetlands (1st series)
Okavango Delta

Wattled Crane

Pel’s Fishing Owl

This composite MS includes numerous birds in its border, a flock of ducks, a Fish Eagle and a Malachite Kingfisher

12 May 2001 - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Wildlife Park

12 December 2001 - Wetlands (2nd series) Chobe River

Four values one depicts birds
A composite MS includes
only 2 values and
includes a bird in the SE
corner of the border
35t Pygmy Falcon & Weavers

The above Composite MS inludes a
Southern Carmine Bee-eater and a
Kingfisher perched on a tree-stump in the border

18 December 2002 - Wetlands (3rd series) Makgadikgadi Pans

P2.50 & P2.75
both include
Greater Flamingoes and
White Pelicans
P3.30 White Pelican in flight with numerous Flamingoes in the background
The border of this composite MS includes more Flamingoes

23 December 2003- Wetlands (24th series)
Limpopo River

P1.45 Verreaux’s Eagle
P2.50 Common Ostrich
The Border of the MS includes more birds

9 October 2004
First SAPO joint issue depicting birds
40t - Peregrine Falcon
50t - African Fish Eagles flying
60t - Bar-tailed Trogon
70t - African Fish Eagle
80t - Purple-crested Turaco
P1.00 - African Fish Eagle
P2.00 - Blue Crane
P5.00 - Western Cattle Egret

The P5.00 Cattle Egret was also printed in sheets and
regarded asBotswana’s contribution to this joint issue
20 December 2005

Christmas Issue
Doves and Pigeons

80t - Namaqua Dove
P2.10 - Red-eyed Dove
P3.90 - Laughing Doves
P4.70 - Green Pigeons
13 March 2007


P1.10 - Pied Kingfisher
P2.60 - Malachite Kingfisher
P4.10 - Woodland Kingfisher
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
5 June 2009

Threatened Birds of

Lesser Flamingoes
Grey-crowned Crane
Wattled Crane
Blue Crane
13 October 2007

25th Anniversary
of the University
of Botswana

4 Values
One includes a bird
1 December 2010

Night Animals

4 Values

Pearl Spotted Owl
1 October 2016

Favourite Stamps
of Five Decades

5 Values plus MS
Depicts Stamps
on Stamps
Malachite Kingfisher
P4.10 African Jacana
10 March 2015

Okavango Delta Wildlife

4 Values plus MS
Three values include birds
P5.40 - Wattled Crane
and Slaty Egret
P7.30 - Saddle-billed Stork
and African Jacana
P8.00 - Goliath Heron and
Red-billed Oxpecker
28 September 2015
Save Botswana’s Vultures

Five values plus a miniature sheet
P4.10 - Lappet-faced Vulture
P5.00 - White-headed Vulture
P5.90 - White-backed Vulture

Hooded Vulture

Cape Vulture

The border of the miniature sheet includes a kettle of Vultures feeding on carrion

1 August 2017

Bustards of Botswana
Five values plus MS
50t - Kori Bustard
P5.00 - Black-bellied Koorhan
P7.00 - Red-crested Koorhan
P9.00 - Denham’s Bustard
P10.00 - Ludwig’s Bustard

South African Homeland 1981 - 1994
The first definitive issue of 17 denominations depicted birds and six additional values followed (1984 - 1990)
Two commemorative sets include Owls and Aviary birds each with an additional Philatelic Foundation MS

4 December 1981 - First Definitive
Knysna Turarco
Cape Wagtail
Malachite Sunbird
Stanley Crane
African Red-winged Starling

Handpainted Essay of a Pied Kingfisher by Dick Findlay
Giant Kingfisher
Hadada Ibis
Black Cuckoo
African Fish
Cape Longclaw
All designs by
Dick Findlay
Cape Dikkop
African Green Pigeon
Cape Parrot
Narina Trogon
Cape Eagle Owl
11c - 2.4.84
12c - 1.4.85
14c - 1.4.86
1984 - 90
New Values

11c, 12c, 14c,
16c, 18c, 21c
16c - 1.4.87
18c - 3.7.89
21c - 3.7.90
Black-headed Oriole
Cape Puff-back Flycatcher
Lemon Dove
17 August 1984
Migratory Birds by Shelia Nowers
Banded Sand Martin
House Martin
Greater Striped Swallow
Barn Swallow

FDC design
7 February 1991 - Owls by Dick Findlay

Philatelic Foundation MS
African Marsh Owl
African Scops Owl
Barn Owl
African Wood Owl
16 July 1993 - Cage and Aviary Birds
Peach-faced Lovebirds
Gouldian Finch
Cage Birds

Philatelic Foundation MS

First Day Cover

Lesotho was Basutoland
The 1971 set of seven is illustrated above in Part I and the next set to depict birds is the 1981 definitive of 14 values and a
booklet with an attractive cover showing a Hoopoe accompanied this issue.
The same designs were are known with different ‘Year’ Imprints and during 1986 there were numerous local surcharges on the same stamps
In 1988 a second bird definitive of 15 values followed and gradually over the years Lesotho issued more and more bird stamps
Currently this section illustrates a sample of issues, a complete list may be viewed via this link

20 April 1981

Bird Definitive

14 Values
Greater Kestrel
Crowned Crane
Bokmakierie Shrike
Cape Robin Chat
Yellow Canary
Malachite Kingfisher

1981 M4.50

5s, 6s,7s and 25s
in blocks of 10

Speckled Pigeon
Red-billed Pintail
Malachite Sunbird
Cape Longclaw
Red Bishop
Egyptian Goose
Lilac-breasted Roller
5 August 1985 - Birth Bicentenary of John Audubon (Ornithologist) - 5s Cliff Swallow
Great Crested Grebe
Vesper Sparrow
Stilt Sandpiper
Glossy Ibis
20 January 1986 - Flora and Fauna - 8 values & MS
Four values and MS with birds - Lammergeiers
On Watch
Pair of Birds
Male in flight
Adult and Juvinile
MS - Verreaux’s Eagle

5 April 1988 - Second Bird definitive (15 values)
Lesser Pied Kingfisher
Three-banded Plover
Spur-winged Goose
Clapper Lark
Red-eyed Bulbul
Cape Weaver
Paradise Sparrow
Mountain Chat
Pied Barbet
Red-shouldered Glossy Starling
Cape Sparrow
Cattle Egret
Giant Kingfisher
Helmet Guineafowl
18 September 1989 - Migrant Birds
Four values plus MS
Marsh Sandpiper

Little Stint
M1 - Ringed Plover

M4 - Curlew Sandpiper

M5(MS) - Ruff

17 May 2004

Endangered Species

Bald Ibis
Bald Ibis

Nesting and in flight
20 August 2007
Birds of the World

M1 - Crested Caracara
M1.5 - Wood Stork

Tawney-shouldered Blackbird

M15 - Jabiru

Malawi was Nyasaland
In Part I (above) the 1968 - 1971 bird stamps are illustrated and in 1975 a second definitive depicting birds was issued printed on watermarked (Cockerels)
Paper and some seven months later five values were reprinted without a watermark and three values were overprinted in 1975 - 76
Malawi has proved to be a country with a prolic number of birds on stamps and over 100 designs have been issued

19 February 1975

1t - African Snipe
2t - Sand Grouse
3t - Blue Quail
5t - Francolin
8t - Harlequin Quail

Second Bird Definitive

Spur-winged Goose
Comb Duck
Helmet Guineafowl
9 December 1975

Tenth African,
Caribbean and Pacific
Ministerial Conference

African Pigmy Goose
African Green Pigeon
Pigmy Goose Overprint
1 October 1975
No Watermark
22 October 1976

Centenary of Blantyre Mission


23 February 1980
75th Rotary

4 values (one bird)

5t - African Fish Eagle
10 November 1980

4 values (one bird)

K1 - Malachite

4 February 1981
(4 values)

Cattle Egret
15 March 1982
National Parks

4 values (one bird)
4 April 1983
500th Birth
of Raphael

3 Values
One with birds

Common Cranes
Three heads visible
24 August 1987

4 Values

One with a
Cattle Egret stood
on the back of a Hippo

Greater Flamingoes
11 July 1983 - African Fish Eagles

1 August 1985

Birth Bicentenary of
John Audubon
Sterling’s Woodpecker
Lesser Seedcracker
East Coast Akelat
Boehm’s Bee-eater

16 February 1987

Endangered Spieces
Wattled Crane
25 July 1988
15 values

First K10 value

Second K10 value

7 April 1992
Birds Sheelet

Red Bishop
Lesser-striped Swallow

Paradise Flycatcher
White-fronted Bee-eater

White-browed Robin Chat
African Fish Eagle

Barn Owl
Variable Sunbird

African Pitta
African Darter

Long-crested Eagle
Lilac-breasted Roller

White-winged black Tern
African Fire Finch

Malachite Kingfisher
Lesser Masked Weaver

Lesser Flamingo
South African
Crowned Crane

Whistling Ducks
African Pied Wagtail
11 October 2004
First Joint SAPOA Issue

African Fish Eagle

Stanley Crane

Cattle Egret

African Fish Eagles

Bar-tailed Trogon

Purple-crested Turaco

Peregrine Falcon

Fish Eagles flying


30 September 2009

Endangered Species
Lillian’s Lovebirds


Initially the number of birds appearing on Mozambique stamps was conservative, however in 2002 there was an
‘Explosion’ of issues which continues through to 2017. For that reason only a sample of the countries bird stamps are illustrated here
To view a complete list of Mozambique birds - Follow the Link
20 March 1978

The first issue to feature birds
More Mozambique to Follow in Due course

Namibia previously South West Africa
Namibia came into being on 21 March 1990 and their stamp issues are produced by various Artists that are well known names as the designers
of the former SWA stamps. The first issue of birds is by A.H. Barrett who is an ‘all round’ designer and one of the most prolific producers of the stamps of
RSA, the Homelands and SWA/Namibia.
Other names are Julia Birkhead, a self-taught artist who captured the essence of whatever animal, bird, plant or insect she painted.
David C. Thorpe - He was trained as a fine artist in the UK, selling paintings through Windsor and Eton Fine Arts Gallery and
Brighton Fine Arts Gallery before becoming a designer and illustrator for Mitchell Beazley Publishers (later to become Dorling Kindersley).

The 1998 Owls are by Helge Denker, born in Namibia in 1969 and grew up on a farm east of Windhoek and completed high school in South Australia,
where he also studied visual art and graphic design. He returned to Namibia in 1990 and has worked here, as well as in other parts of Africa,
as an artist, writer, naturalist, guide and consultant since then. Denker has illustrated and designed over 300 postage stamps for Namibia.

Anja Denker
first encountered stamp design when she attended a course offered by Koos van Ellinckhuijzen in 1997 and
for her there was an immediate attraction to the discipline.

3 June 1994


By A.H. Barrett

Yellow-billed Stork
Abdim’s Stork
African Open-bill Stork
White Stork
24 May 1995 - Fossils - Ward’s Diamond Bird

15 May 1997 - Endangered Species - Jackass Penguins by David Thorpe

Jackass Penguin
Incubating an Egg
Adult & chick

15 May 1997 - African Penguins MS

50c Cinderella Waxbill
60c Black-cheeked Waxbill
6 May 1997
by Julia Birkhead
From Booklet
6 May 1997
Greetings Stamp
$1.20 Helmet Guineafowl

3 November 1997 - Fauna and Flora Definitive (18 values) Six with Birds
Laughing Dove
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
3 November 1997

Christmas Issue
Helmeted Guineafowl

Four values and MS

1 April 1998
Owls of Namibia Booklet

By Helge Denker
Northern White-faced Owl
Western Barn Owl
Spotted Eagle-Owl
African Barred Owlet

Southern Carmine Bee-eater - African Jacana
African Fish Eagle - Woodland Kingfisher

26 September 1998 - Caprivi Strip Wildlife Sheetlet
(At Left)

28 June 1999 - Wetland birds

Wattled Crane
Burchell’s Sandgrouse
Designer/Artist C. van Rooyen

Rock Pratincole
Great White Pelican
18 May 1999
Birds of Prey

By Helge Denker
60c - Greater Kestrel
$1.60 - Common Kestrel
$1.80 - Red-necked Falcon
Birds of Prey

Lanner Falcon
31 December 1999
New Millennium
Sunset over Namibia

Group of Cormorants
30 September 1999 - Winning entry in 5th Stamp World Cup (France) By Helge Denker

First Day Cover

Western Barn Owl MS


During this Stamp Exhibition a special folder
with a replica of the ‘Most beautiful stamp’
The Barn Owl MS is signed by the
designer Helge Denker

Only 100 folders were produced
The illustrated Example being No 29

Helge Denker

18 February 2000

Ducks of Namibia

Set of Maxicards below
South African Shelduck
White-faced Whistling Duck
Knob-billed Duck
Cape Shoveler
Designer/Artist P. Huebsch
22 May 2000
Namib Desert - Dune Wildlife

Issued in conjunction with LONDON 2000

A Dune Lark by its Nest
5 September 2001
Central Highlands Sheetlet

Ruppell’s Parrot
15 May 2002 Birds by Anja Denker
African Paradise Flycatcher
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
Malachite Kingfisher

Flora and Fauna in a Composite Sheetlet of 10
Designer/Artist Helge Denker

1 July 2002
Ephemeral Rivers

By Helge Denker
(5 values)

Three include birds
Greater Kestrel

Crowned Lapwing

Namaqua Sandgrouse
Grey Heron
Spur-winged Goose
Pied Kingfisher
Marsh Sandpiper
6 June 2003
Cuvelal Drainage

By Helge Denker

Three values
Two with birds

Grey Crowned Crane
Lesser Flamingo
Egyptian Goose
Abdim’s Stork

11 October 2004
First Joint SAPOA Issue

African Fish Eagle

Stanley Crane

Cattle Egret

African Fish Eagles

Bar-tailed Trogon

Purple-crested Turaco

Peregrine Falcon

Fish Eagles flying

14 April 2005

Four values plus MS
White-bellied Sunbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Marico Sunbird
Dusky Sunbird

MS - Amethyst Sunbird

Sunbirds First Day Cover

28 February 2006
Seagulls of Namibia

By Anja Denker
Grey-headed Gull
Kelp Gull
Hartlaub’s Gull
Sabine’s Gull
22 March 2007 - Etosha National Park by Helge Denker
Red-billed Quelea being chased by a Gabar Goshawk

Flamingoes Flying in the background

28 February 2008 - Weaver Birds of Namibia by Anja Denker

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Thick-billed Weaver
Red-headed Weaver
Sociable Weaver
15 February 2007 - Biodiversity (16 values)
2 February 2009 - Eagles of Namibia by Helge Denker

African Hawk Eagle

The Biodiversity issue
Seven values
include a bird in the design

Five of them are extremely small and in most case are almost ‘Fly-specks’

For that reason they are not illustrated

In November 2008 the
stamps were reprinted with PVA gum instead of arabic


Tawny Eagle

White-fronted Plover

Martial Eagle

Verreaux’s Eagle

The Brandberg MS
Endangered Species Sheetlet
10 April 2009
The Brandberg MS

By Anja Denker

8 February 2010
Endangered Species


By Anja Denker

Cape Vulture
Wattled Crane
Augur Buzzard


4 April 2010 - Bustards and Korhaans
Northern Black Korhaan
Red-crested Korhaan
Black-bellied Bustard
Artist/Designer Helge Denker
Rüppell’s Korhaan
Ludwig’s Bustard
Kori Bustard


16 May 2011
Endangered Marine life

Cape Gannet

Atlantic yellow-nosed
Artist/Designer Anja Denker
African Penguin
Bank Comorant


More Namibia bird stamps to Follow

11 June 2014
Chinese Navy MS
First Visit to Namibia

Lesser Flamingoes

Peregrine Falcon and Ring-necked Dove

28 July 2014 - Kalahari MS (10 values)

1 October 2014 - Kingfishers

Half-collared Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Woodland Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
Giant Kingfisher

Std. Mail
White-fronted Bee-eater
15 May 2015
Reg. Mail
European Bee-eater
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
Little Bee-eater

1 October 2016

Three-banded Courser
Burchell’s Courser
Double-banded Courser
Bronze-winged Courser
6 February 2015

Shaft-tailed Whydah
18 March 2016 - Whydahs

Namib Sand Sea MS

Paradise Whydah

7 July 2016

Vertical designs
Std. Mail - Western Cattle Egret

$06.05 - Striated Heron

Goliath Heron

Striated Heron
Black Heron
9 March 2017

Zone A
Black-collared Barbet
Zone B
Crested Barbet
Zone C
Acacia Pied Barbet
1 August 2017 - Rollers

European Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller
Racket-tailed Roller
Purple Roller
Broad-billed Roller

Rhodesia was Southern Rhodesia
The 1964 10/- Guineafowl overprinted INDEPENDENCE 11th November 1965 and the redrawn design by Harrison & Sons and Mardon Printers in Salisbury
is illustrated earlier on and after the 10/- Guinea fowl the 1990 Decimal Definitives includes a 25c Bateleur Eagles
In 1971 a set of six ‘Birds of Rhodesia’ appeared, an attractive and popular issue
A second set of six followed in 1977 thus the total UDI ‘bird output’ totals 14 designs (16 stamps)

17 February 1970

Decimal definitives

1c to $2
14 values

25c Bateleur Eagle
1 June 1971
Birds of Rhodesia

2½c Half-collared Kingfisher
25c Senegal Wattled Plover
Golden-breasted Bunting
Carmine Bee-eater
Red-eyed Bulbul

16 March 1977 - Birds of Rhodesia

3c Common Bulbul
4c Yellow-mantled
6c Cape Longclaw
8c Eastern
Long-tailed Shrike
16c Lesser Blue-eared Glossy Starling
24c Green Wood

Republic of South Africa (RSA)

South West Africa became Namibia
As noted at the start of this page in 1931 SWA effectively ‘pioneered’ the first Southern Africa bird on stamp
Ostriches were used on the 1954 6d Aerogramme and Flamingoes on the 1961 - 73 definitives and Postal Stationery
The well known Flora and Fauna artist, Dick Findlay, designed three sets of bird stamps during 1974, 75 and 79
Birds are included on a few odd stamps such as the 1978 Bushmen set depicting a man hunting Ostrich (Designed by A.H. Barrett)
The 1982 ‘Discovery of SWA’ by Sheila Nowers includes birds on one of her designs
Two more sets completes the SWA inventory, a delightful set of Ostriches by J. van Ellinckhuijzen
Another well know ‘Bird Artist’ Graeme Arnott designed the final set of four in 1988

South West Africa became Independent Namibia on 21 March 1990

March 1972 - 3c Postal Stationery card
With 3c Flamingoes over Lighthouse stamp Imprint
Issued in sets of 20 with different views
1 September 1973
With 3c Succulent stamp Imprint

Issued in sets of 20 with different views
- Giant Eagle Owl
1 September 1973
With 3c Succulent stamp Imprint

Issued in sets of 20 with different views
- Great Tawny Eagle
1 September 1973
With 3c Succulent stamp Imprint

Issued in sets of 20 with different views
- Grey Heron
1974 Rare Birds of SWA
1975 Protected Birds of Prey
Rosy-faced Lovebirds
Damara Rock Jumper
Peregrine Falcon
Black Eagle
Martial Eagle
Egyptian Vulture

5 April 1979 - Water Birds

White-breasted Cormorant
Sand Plover
White Pelican
14 April 1978
The Bushmen

Set of four
One value as illustrated
(SG 315)

Ostrich hunting
28 May 1982
Discoverer of SWA

Set of four
One value as illustrated
(SG 396)

White- breasted Comorants
and Kelp Gulls
15 March 1985

Ostrich Head
Sitting on Eggs
New Hatchling
Mating dance
Handpainted Essays by J. van Ellinckhuijzen
J.J. (Koos) van Ellinckhuijzen is a Namibian artist.
He is most noted for his work on Namibian and South West African postage stamps. He has exhibited in both Namibia and the US.
Adelheid Lilienthal, in Art in Namibia has noted the scientific accuracy of his designs, their clean lines and his use of watercolor techniques.


Hand-painted Essay for FDC
3 November 1988
Birds of SWA

16c Herero Chat
30c Gray’s Lark
40c Ruppel’s Knorhaan
50c Monteiro’s Hornbill
Handpainted Essay by Graeme Arnott
Graeme Arnott interest in studying and drawing wildlife developed in early boyhood growing up on a farm in the Rhodesian bush.
In 1975 he took up bird painting as a fulltime profession illustrating the books.
Mockups for the First Day Cover layout (Ex SWA Archives)


Hand-painted Essay for FDC

The first 1962 - 68 stamps are illustrated in Part I and in 1976 a 15 value bird definitive followed
From 1982 to 85 a series of four Wildlife Conservation issues all depicted birds in strips of five stamps
In 1993 and 1995 two sets of four stamps are devoted to Waxbills and Turacos
Finally in 2004 the first joint SAPOA MS includes eight Hexagonal bird stamps

2 January 1976

Bird definitive
1c African
Black-headed Oriole

3c Green-winged Pytillia

2E Lilac-breasted Roller
African Green
Violet Starling
Robin Chat
Bush Shrike
Grey Heron
Giant Kingfisher
Verreaux’s Eagle
Red Bishop
16 June 1982 - Wildlife Conservation (1st series) - Owls
16 May 1983 - Wildlife Conservation (2nd series) - Lammergeier
18 May 1984 - Wildlife Conservation (3rd series) - Bald Ibis
15 May 1985 - Wildlife Conservation (4th series) - Ground Hornbills
25 November 1993

Common Waxbill

25c - Male & Female

40c - On Eggs

1E - On Nest

2E - Feeding chicks

27 September 1995


Known as a Loerie
in South Africa
Knysna Turaco
Knysna Turaco flying
Violet-crested Turaco
Livingstone’s Turaco
23 December 2002

Tourism Issue (4 values)

The top value with
an Ostrich and young
Southern Africa Postal Operators (SAPO)
This included
Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Starting in 2004 they produced joint issues using the same designs
11 October 2004

First Joint
Purple-crested Turaco
Stanley Crane
Cattle Egret
African Fish Eagles
2E African Fish Eagle

2E.45 Bar-tailed Trogon

3E Fish Eagles flying

3E.45 Peregrine Falcon

South African Homeland 1976 - 1994
Starting in 1980 the Transkei issued four sets of bird stamps designed by various Artists and includes one miniature sheet
plus two Philatelic Foundation sheets. The 1991 Endangered Birds set was also available on Maxi cards

30 July 1980 - Birds designed by Dick Findlay
FDC design and special cancellation at left - Folded Collectors sheet (front cover) at right
Red-chested Cuckoo
Puff-back Flycatcher
South African
Crowned Crane

FDC design and Special Cancel
20 June 1991 - Endanged birds designed by Alan Ainslie
Crowned Crane
Cape Vulture
Wattled Crane
Egyptian Vulture
Alan Ainslie (Wildlife Artist)
Alan’s career as a wildlife artist commenced in 1984 when he was commissioned to produce a calendar. The artist has had several solo exhibitions and participated in numerous international wildlife exhibitions where his paintings were on show. In addition to his wildlife art, Ainslie is also a successful graphic designer and illustrator and he has designed numerous stamp issues.
Maximum Cards No 106 - 109

First Day Cover

1991 Philatelic Foundation MS

16 July 1992 - Waterfowl - Artists Martin Goetz (3v) - G. Mc Illeron (1v) - E.A. Zalaumis (4v)

FDC design
Red-billed Pintail
Maccoa Duck
African Black Duck
Cape Shoveler
Hottentot Teal
White-backed Duck
Egptian Goose
Cape Teal

1992 Philatelic Foundation MS

First Day Cover

FDC Design and Special cancel
15 October 1993 - Doves by Julia Birkhead
She is a self-taught artist who captured the essence of whatever animal, bird, plant or insect she painted
Her first philatelic commission was for a logo for the RSA JUNASS FDC of GEBEKS 1988.
Julia had many painting requests from the Wildlife Society and the SPCA.
Laughing Doves
Tambourine Doves
Wood Doves
Namaqua Doves

Miniature Sheet and First Day cover

South African Homeland 1979 - 1994
Eight sets
of birds, each with four stamps was issued from 1981 to 1994

16 February 1981

J. Hoekstra
Collared Sunbird
Marico Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
16 February 1983 - Migratory Birds (1st Series) - Artist/Designer Sheila Nowers

European Bee-eater
Tawny Eagle
Violet-backed Starling
Abdim’s Stork
26 April 1984
Migratory Birds
(2nd Series)

Sheila Nowers
White Stork
African Paradise Flycatcher
Yellow-billed Kite
Wood Sandpiper
10 January 1985

Sheila Nowers
White-browed Robin-Chat
Black-collared Barbet
Black-headed Oriole
Kurrichane Thrush

6 January 1987

A.H. Barrett

Knob-billed Duck
White-faced Whistling Duck

Spur-winged Goose

Egyptian Goose
27 June 1989
Endangered Birds

M. Enslin
Southern Ground Hornbill
Lappet-faced Vulture
Martial Eagle
7 March 1991


Claude Finch-Davies
Cape Batis
Red-capped Robin-Chat
Collared Sunbird
Yellow-streaked Greenbul
16 July 1993 - Herons
- Priscilla Henley
Striated Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Purple Heron
Black-headed Heron
29 April 1994


Julia Birkhead
Cape Starling
Violet-backed Starling
Red-winged Starling
Wattled Starling

Zambia was Northern Rhodesia

Zimbabwe was Rhodesia
On 18 April 1980 Zimbabwe - Rhodesia became a Republic and was named Zimbabwe
In 1984 a set of six Birds of Prey was issued and further ‘Birds on stamps’ followed in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998 and 1999
After the turn of the century birds on stamps feature in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007

10 October 1984

Birds of Prey

First Bird Issue
African Fish Eagle
Long-crested Eagle
Verreaux’s Eagle
Martial Eagle
Bonelli’s Eagle
15 April 1987

Owls (1st series)
Barred Owlet
Pearl-spotted Owlet
White-faced Scops Owl
African Scops Owl
6 October 1988 - Wild Ducks and Geese of Zimbabwe
White-faced Duck
Pygmy Goose
Hottentot Teal
Knob-billed Duck
White-backed Duck
Maccoa Duck
2 January 1990
Third Definitive
6 April 1993

Owls (2nd series)
Helmet Guineafowl
African Wood Owl
Pel’s Fishing Owl
Spotted Eagle Owl
Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
7 July 1992 - Birds
Common Bulbul
Fiscal Shrike
Fork-tailed Drongo
Cardinal Woodpecker
Yellow-billed Hornbill
Crested Francolin
20 October 1998 - Birds
Leser Blue-eared
Miombo Grey Tit
Chirinda Apalis
15 April 1997
Endangered Species
One of 6 stamps
8 June 1999

Owls (3rd series)
Peregrine Falcon
Cape Eagle Owl
Grass Owl
Barn Owl
Marsh Owl
25 January 2000

5th Definitive
(3 of 18 values)
24 June 2003

Added values
(2 of 4)
Cape Parrot
Lilac-breasted Roller
Golliath Heron

Web design by Otto Peetoom