Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hornbills of Malaysia

Hornbills of Malaysia - Special Issue

Date of Issue: 1983-10-26
Denominations: 15 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, and $1.00
Size: 25 mm x 37 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked
Printing Process: Offset lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps
Designer: Peter Khang Howe Ket

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

The hornbill belonging to the Bucerotidae family is probably most closely related to the kingfisher. The hornbill can be found distributed from Africa through Asia to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It has short wings, a rather long tail and its second and third toes are partly fused. The hornbill uses its long curved beak to dexterously manipulate food items such as fruits, insects and small vertebrates. Its beak is capped by a casque which is light and hollow, shaped and colored according to age and species in all except the Helmeted Hornbill. Unusually well developed ‘eye-lashes’ protect the eyes of the hornbill. The hornbill ranges in size from that of a domestic pigeon to a large turkey. All species of the hornbill depend on woodland since they nest in tree holes. For most of the nesting cycle, the female hornbill walls herself in and is fed exclusively by one or more companions to emerge only after its young are well-grown.

15c – Depicts the HELMETED HORNBILL (Enggang Tebang Mentua)

Found in Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, this very large hornbill is territorial, often solitary and specializes in the figs of lowland rainforest. It is the only hornbill with a solid casque (valued as hornbill ‘ivory’). The laughing call of this hornbill carries far but the bird itself is secretive, rarely leaving the forest canopy.

20c – depicts the Wrinkled Hornbill (Enggang Berkedut)

Restricted to Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo this hornbill lives in low-lying forests of the coastal plains, which it roams in small parties in search of fruit. With progressive loss of their special habitat Wrinkled Hornbills are probably now the rarest Malaysian species and may shortly disappear.

50c – depicts the White Crested Hornbill (Enggang Jambul Putih)

Restricted to Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, this hornbill, a gregarious species, lives permanently in parties of five or more individuals in forests most usually of hilly areas and often in secondary growth along rivers. The diet of this hornbill includes animal items and occasionally even snakes.

$1 – depicts the Rhinoceros Hornbill (Enggang Badak)

Found in the lowlands and hills of Java, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, this hornbill is a large and relatively common bird. This hornbill normally lives in pairs and more than 20 such birds may sometimes gather at a favored fruit tree. Its up-turned casque which is straight in young birds develops with age.

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