BIRDS OF BOPHUTHATSWANA

Before you ask “Where is that?”, Bophuthatswana was one of the so-called ‘homelands’ within South Africa that was declared a self-governing state in June 1972. Five years later, on 6th December 1977, it was granted independence by the South African government, although this was only recognised by South Africa and the other independent state known as the Transkei. We lived in the capital city, Mmabatho, for eight years – from the time it was a motley collection of houses plonked on the open veld with no streets to speak of until it had grown into a recognisable city with all the amenities one might expect. The country was reincorporated into South Africa on 27th April 1994 and is now part of what is known as the North West Province.

Politics aside, there were a number of interesting birds commonly found in that part of the country, of which this commemorative cover shows five. The stamps were designed by the artist Dick Findlay, who was well-known for his ornithological paintings. He also designed South African postage stamps and coins.

The birds depicted here are, from left to right, the Pied Babbler – small flocks of these dove-sized birds make a harsh babbling sound while they hunt for insects.

Carmine Bee-eaters are beautiful summer migrants that gather in large flocks at their roosting places at dusk. They too feed on insects.

The Shaft-tailed Whydah is a seed-eater that does not build its own nest. The female lays her eggs in the nests of other birds, such as the Violet-eared Waxbill (which is shown on the left-hand side of the commemorative cover).

Meyer’s Parrots are commonly found in small groups in the dry thornveld near a water source. Their diet consists of fruit, berries and seeds.

 

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3 thoughts on “BIRDS OF BOPHUTHATSWANA

    • Ek het ook graag seëls versamel tot hulle ‘self-adhesive’ geword het. Suider-Afrika het pragtige seëls wat die wonders van ons voëls, diere en plante publiseer – wel, hulle het eens op ‘n tyd.

      • Stem met daardie self plak gom. Dit is net nie die moeite werd om hul rerig nejies te hou nie. Ek het ook n hele versameling eerste dag koeverte geërf van n oom wat nie die albums in die asdrom wou gooi nie. Dis ook nog van die onafhanklike state. Dis rerig baie mooi.

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