- Issue date: 01/04/2006
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Autoadhesivo fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 24,5 x 35 mm. (verticales)
- Book size: 177,5 x 86 mm. (horizontales)
- Book Effects: 100
- Postal value of the stamps: “JILGUERO” :0,29 € “AVE DEL PARAISO”: 0,38 €
- Print run: Ilimitada para los dos valores
Two new cheque books of stamps , each one containing 100 self adhesive stamps, are issued within the Flora and Fauna series. On this occasion the stamps depict the Strelitzia flower and the Goldfinch.
The bird-of-paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae) is native to the southern and eastern parts of the Cape Province and northern Natal in South Africa, where it grows wild on river banks and in scrub clearings in coastal areas and is available all year round thanks to greenhouses. Reaching a height of 1.2 m, Strelitzia reginae consists of clumps of greyish-green leaves, with long stalks and broad oval blades, arising from an underground stem (rhizome). The plant gets its common name from the exotic appearance of its inflorescence (flowering head). Emerging from a horizontal green and pink boat-shaped bract (a leaf-like structure) in slow succession, the flowers look like the crest on a bird's head.
Each flower is made up of three upright orange sepals and three highly modified vivid blue petals. Two of the petals are joined together in a structure resembling an arrowhead with the third petal forming a nectary at the base of the flower. When a pollinator, usually a sunbird, lands on the arrowhead in search of nectar, the anthers are levered clear of the flower and deposit pollen on the breast of the bird. When the bird flies to another plant, this pollen is transferred to the stigma of the new flower. The resulting fruit is a leathery capsule containing numerous small seeds, each with an orange aril (an outgrowth from the seed similar to the red sheath around yew seeds) and an oil body, possibly to attract birds. Because of its beauty, it is very popular in flower ornamentation.
The Goldfinch or Carduelis Carduelis is a highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch measuring around 12 cm. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, they have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. Their long fine beaks allow them to extract otherwise inaccessible seeds from thistles and teasels. Increasingly they are visiting birdtables and feeders. They breed in trees and bushes with areas of tall weeds nearby and often near man in parks, gardens, nurseries, orchards and churchyards. In wider countryside it likes woodland edges and heaths and commons with gorse and hawthorn. During spring goldfinches often display whilst sitting on branches, singing, drooping the wings and swaying from side to side. Between four and six eggs are produced and these take up to 14 days to incubate. The young goldfinches will have fledged after 13-18 days.