January 19, 2014

0363 UNITED KINGDOM (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) - Wandering Albatross

Posted on 20.10.2012, 19.01.2014
Considered Antarctic territories, because are located south to the Antarctic Convergence, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) have a polar climate, at higher elevations being permanently covered with ice and snow. In addition, most of the islands, rising steeply from the sea, are rugged and mountainous. As a result, they are inhospitable for humans. On the other hand, they embrace many rocks offshore and small islands that provide homes for breeding birds and mammals.

Among the birds species who live there is the Wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans), known also as Snowy albatross or White-winged albatross. It is the largest member of the genus Diomedeidae, one of the largest birds in the world, and also one of the best known and studied species of bird. It has the largest wingspan, reaching up to 3.7m, and spends most of its life in flight, landing only to breed and feed. Even if they can live for over 50 years, the pairs of Wandering Albatrosses mate for life. Conform IUCN, Wandering albatross is a vulnerable species. 

About the stamps
The most part of the revenue of SGSSI is derived from fishing licences, but also important sources are the tourism, harbour dues and... the sale of postage stamps and coins. As it says in official site of Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau, "The Government of SGSSI is administered from Government House in the Falkland Islands and supports its own Stamp Advisory Committee who are responsible for the design concept for each issue of stamps produced. The policy for South Georgia is to produce as few issues as possible per year averaging two main issues, generally of local interest, and whenever required the release of omnibus series are also considered. All First Day Covers and other philatelic material are cancelled at King Edward Point post office before returning to Stanley for distribution."

The five stamps on the postcard are part of a commemorative series of six, issued on February 15, 2011, and dedicated to pets:
• Vervet monkey (45p) - It's on the postcard 0363
• Anne-Marie Sørlle with pups (60p) - It's on the postcard 0363
• Two whalers show off their pets in their room at Grytviken (70p)
• Nan Brown with Stugie (95p) - It's on the postcard 0363
• Perce Blackborow and Mrs Chippy (£1.15) - It's on the postcard 0363
• Shackleton and Query (£1.20) - It's on the postcard 0363

More and interesting details about this series you can find here.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #154, run by Viridian from Viridian’s Postcard Blog. The theme of this week is: Pets. This postcard, with the stamps related, was posted with long time ago, but this series seems to me worthy of being highlighted to this theme. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.


South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - Wikipedia
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - official site
Wandering Albatross - Wikipedia
Diomedea exulans - The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Pets series - Falkland Islands Philatelic Beaureau

Sender: Vanessa
Sent from King Edward Point (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands / United Kingdom), on 14.09.2012
Photo: Derren Fox


  1. wow this is an awesome rarity :)

  2. You are lucky to have such rare stamps! See you at Sunday stamps!

    1. Yes, lucky me. :) Regarding Sunday Stamps, I'll be there whenever I will have something related to the subject, because I like the atmosphere, very warm and friendly. And thanks for visiting my blog not only sunday. :)

  3. Thanks for linking this up to this Week's Sunday Stamps. I hope I have more themes you will be able to join.

  4. Love all the stamps and on a great card too.

  5. that kitty is sooo cute! My Kimi is doing the same with my dad..would climb on his shoulder, and they just walk around together :) a gem of stamps btw ;-)

  6. I certainly never expected to see a penguin today. A fine set of stamps to have,

    1. The penguin as a pet, was the first which amazed me, too! How nice to see the penguin and the human are good friends.

      Beautiful albatross postcard, too!

  7. The postcard is wonderful on both sides. I like the personal nature of the stamps which show the connection to animals and humans.