National Stamp Collecting Month: Mail by Pigeons

The use of homing pigeons to carry messages, known as pigeon post, dates back at least 2000 years. Pigeons were effective as messengers due to their natural homing abilities. The pigeons were transported to a destination in cages, where messages would be attached to their legs or necks. The pigeon would then fly back to its home where the owner could read their mail. They … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: Mail by Pigeons

Tarapunga, or the Red-Billed Gull, and New Zealand’s Health Stamps

My random stamp days (and there have been a lot of them recently) are not always so random as I usually decide the country that I want to pick from before selecting a stamp. I try not to choose from the same issuing entity too often (sometimes that can’t be avoided) and the United States has yet to be included in a random stamp day … Continue reading Tarapunga, or the Red-Billed Gull, and New Zealand’s Health Stamps


The skuas are a group of seabirds with about seven species forming the family Stercorariidae and the genus Stercorarius. The three smaller skuas are called jaegers in American English.  The English word “skua” comes from the Faroese name skúgvur for the great skua, with the island of Skúvoy renowned for its colony of that bird. The general Faroese term for skuas is kjógvi. The word … Continue reading Skuas

Establishment of Swan River Colony

On May 2, 1829, after anchoring nearby, Captain Charles Fremantle of HMS Challenger, declared the Swan River Colony in Australia. The name was a pars pro toto for Western Australia. In 1832, the colony was renamed the Colony of Western Australia, when the colony’s founding Lieutenant-Governor, Captain James Stirling, belatedly received his commission. However, the name “Swan River Colony” remained in informal use for many years … Continue reading Establishment of Swan River Colony

The Canada Goose

I’ve long felt that certain birds make excellent subjects for air mail stamps, particularly those that look majestic while in flight. I’d rather see birds such as the American bald eagle, Andean condor or peregrine falcon on an air mail stamp than most aircraft (exceptions being a certain upside-down Curtiss Jenny, The Spirit of St. Louis or a Wright 1903 Flyer). Today’s featured stamp portraying Canada … Continue reading The Canada Goose