Australia is home to an incredible array of animals. During the past 40 years, some of these species have been proclaimed as official emblems of our states and territories, whether bird emblems, faunal emblems or even fish emblems. These animals have a connection with the relevant geographic area and, in some cases, are species in need of protection.

This stamp issue features six bird species that have been proclaimed as government emblems. Featured in the stamp designs are artworks from John Gould’s seven-volume The Birds of Australia, published in 1848. The sketches used to produce the lithographs in this impressive body of work were completed by Gould’s wife, Elizabeth, a talented artist. Elizabeth Gould sadly passed away in 1841, after producing more than 80 lithographic plates for the work, prior to its publication. Her sketches were then used by other artists, though predominantly H C Richter, to complete the lithographs. The images were provided by the National Library of Australia. Read our article on Elizabeth Gould and the Birds of Australia

Technical specifications

Issue date
Issue withdrawal date
$1.10 x 6
Stamp design
Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
Product design
Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper: gummed
Tullis Russell
Paper: self-adhesive
Securepost MC90
RA Printing
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size (mm)
26 x 37.5, 37.5 x 26
14.6 x 13.86, 13.86 x 14.6
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI Postmark
Swan Hill Vic 3585
FDI withdrawal date

Stamps in this issue

$1.10 - Laughing Kookaburra

The Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) was proclaimed the bird emblem of New South Wales in 1971. This large kingfisher, known for its laugh-like call, is native to eastern mainland Australia but has also been introduced to parts of Tasmania and Western Australia. It lives in dry eucalyptus forests, woodlands, city parks and gardens. 

$1.10 - Helmeted Honeyeater

The Helmeted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops cassidix), proclaimed in 1971 as Victoria’s bird emblem, is a critically endangered bird, limited to only a few small populations east of Melbourne. As well as distinctive yellow tufts on the side of its head, this small bird has a bright yellow crest (or “helmet”) on the top of its head, which distinguishes it from other honeyeaters.

$1.10 - Black Swan

The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) was officially proclaimed as the bird emblem of Western Australia in 1973 and also forms part of the state badge, seal, flag and coat of arms. It was during the voyages of Dutch explorers to the west coast of Australia in the 17th century that the existence of black (as opposed to white) swans was reported to the rest of the world. 

$1.10 - Wedge-tailed Eagle

The Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) is Australia’s largest bird of prey, so named for its wedge-shaped tail. It was proclaimed as the bird emblem of the Northern Territory in 1978. These impressive birds use their 2.5-metre wingspan to soar to altitudes of up to 2,000 metres.

$1.10 - Brolga

The Brolga (Grus rubicunda) has featured on the Queensland Coat of Arms since 1977 and was proclaimed as Queensland’s bird emblem in 1986. Of the 14 species of cranes worldwide, the Brolga is native only to Australia. This tall bird, known for its elaborate mating dance, is found along the Queensland coast, from Rockhampton to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

$1.10 - Gang-gang Cockatoo

This outgoing cocktaoo was proclaimed as the faunal emblem of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 1997 – making the ACT the only state or territory to feature a bird as their faunal emblem, rather than a mammal. However, following community interest and a public vote, the endangered Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) became ACT’s mammal emblem in November 2018.

Shop our stamp collectables

Set of stamps:

Set of Bird Emblems gummed stamps

This set of stamps contains all six stamps from the Bird Emblems stamp issue.

Stamp pack:

Bird Emblems stamp pack

The Bird Emblems stamp pack contains all six stamps from the stamp issue presented in high quality folder.

Booklet of 10:

Booklet of 10 x $1.10 Black Swan stamps

This booklet contains 10 x $1.10 self-adhesive Black Swan stamps from the Bird Emblems stamp issue in a convenient wallet sized booklet.

Maxicard set:

Set of Bird Emblems maxicards

This maxicard set contains the six maxicards from the Bird Emblems stamp issue.

Additional products:

  • Pictorial envelope for the Bird Emblems stamp issue
  • Booklet of 10 x $1.10 Laughing Kookaburra stamps
  • Booklet of 10 x $1.10 Helmeted Honeyeater stamps
  • Booklet of 10 x $1.10 Wedge-tailed Eagle stamps
  • Booklet of 10 x $1.10 Brolga stamps
  • Booklet of 10 x $1.10 Gang-gang Cockatoo stamps
  • Gutter strip of 10 x $1.10 Laughing Kookaburra stamps
  • Gutter strip of 10 x $1.10 Helmeted Honeyeater stamps
  • Gutter strip of 10 x $1.10 Black Swan stamps
  • Gutter strip of 10 x $1.10 Wedge-tailed Eagle stamps
  • Gutter strip of 10 x $1.10 Brolga stamps
  • Gutter strip of 10 x $1.10 Gang-gang Cockatoo stamps

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.