Australia 2001 Nature of Australia - Desert Birds

From Stamps of the World
Australia 2001 Nature of Australia - Desert Birds snp a.jpg
  • Issue Date: 9 August 2001
  • Designed by: Wayne Rankin
  • Printed by: SNP Ausprint, Pemara Labels
  • Print Process: Lithography
  • Stamp Size: 30 mm x 25 mm
  • Withdrawal date: 31 August 2002


These stamps are the latest definitive stamps in the Nature of Australia series that began in 1996. Each issue in the series features a different habitat and shows characteristic creatures or plants found within that habitat. These four stamps introduce the desert habitat using the specific theme of desert birds of the Little Sandy Desert in Western Australia.


Sheet Stamps

  • Perforations: 14 x 14½
  • Format: sheets of 50

45c Variegated Fairy-wren Stamp

This colourful little bird is the most widespread of the fairy-wrens and is found in diverse habitats throughout Australia. Variegated Fairy-wrens are distinguished by the breeding males’ vivid blue to purple heads and backs. Because of their markings they need a moderately dense shrubby habitat, which in more arid areas is often confined along stream lines. They live in small family groups that maintain permanent territories. The stamp shows a male bird in breeding plumage.

45c Variegated Fairy-wren

45c Painted Firetail Stamp

These birds take their name from the vivid red markings on the upper tail, face, throat and belly of the male bird. The female is red only about the bill with a small scarlet patch on the belly. Painted Firetails are sedentary (not nomadic) and live along gorges and within stony, spinifex and acacia hills throughout northern inland Australia. These birds are not particularly gregarious and live in small groups of 5-30 birds on permanent waterholes. The stamp features two male birds.

45c Painted Firetail

45c Crimson Chat Stamp

The nomadic Crimson Chat follows the erratic rains throughout the arid regions that supply its food. It travels in flocks, flying in a swift, quirky manner common to all chats, and prefers well-shrubbed acacia, spinifex, mallee and mulga scrub habitats. Females and non-breeding males are dull in colour. Males assume their characteristic vivid red crowns and breasts during breeding season. A male in breeding plumage, feeding young, is featured on the stamp.

45c Crimson Chat

45c Budgerigar Stamp

The garrulous, gregarious Budgerigar is found throughout the dry interior of Australia. This small green-yellow parrot prefers a habitat of sparsely timbered grasslands, mallee, mulga and spinifex desert. Nomadic Budgerigars travel in flocks of up to 100 birds. They feed mainly on the ground, eating seeding grasses generated from recent rains. The Budgerigar uses trees for shelter and to roost. They can often be found in large numbers chattering in trees bordering watercourses. The Budgerigar is one of the world’s most popular domesticated caged birds.

45c Budgerigar

Se-tenant Block

Se-tenant block of 4 x 45c

Self-Adhesive Stamps

  • Perforations: serpentine die cut 11¼ (SNP Ausprint); die cut 12½ x 12¾ (Premara Labels)
  • Formats: sheetlets of 5; booklets of 10 and 20; coils of 100 and 200

SNP Ausprint produced the sheetlets and booklets as well as coils of 100. Coils of 100 were also printed by Premara Labels along with the coils of 200.

Single Stamps

SNP Ausprint
45c Variegated Fairy-wren
45c Painted Firetail
45c Crimson Chat
45c Budgerigar
Premara Labels
45c Variegated Fairy-wren
45c Painted Firetail
45c Crimson Chat
45c Budgerigar

Coil Strips

SNP Ausprint coil strip of 4 x 45c
Premara Labels coil strip of 4 x 45c


Sheetlet of 5 x 45c
Sheetlet back


$4.50 booklet cover
$9 booklet cover
Booklet pane of 10 x 45c


A new ‘chequebook’ format was also released to test an improved method of stocking booklets of ten x 45c stamps in retail outlets. Twenty booklets of ten x 45c stamps will be bound in a chequebook, from which individual books were sold. The chequebooks were also available for purchase as an entire unit.

Chequebook cover

First Day Covers

The first day of issue postmark was Newman WA 6753.

First day cover - sheet stamps
First day cover - self-adhesive stamps

Maximum Cards

45c Variegated Fairy-wren maximum card
45c Painted Firetail maximum card
45c Crimson Chat maximum card
45c Budgerigar maximum card

Presentation Pack

Presentation pack front cover
Presentation pack of 4 x 45c