Nauru

Germany's history as a colonial empire builder was brief, and late in starting. After the First World War her colonies were shared out among the victors. The tiny Pacific island of Nauru was efffectively passed to Australia. Nauru has propspered on phosphate mines, but they are now exhausted, leaving most of its surface devastated. 

               Michael Goaman Nauru Truk Reed Warbler

This is a stamp I found when 20 years ago I set out on a collection of birds on stamps. It celebrates the return of the islanders from Truk [now Chuuk] Island where the Japanese deported them during the Pacific War. It shows us an allegory of return, and the Nauru reed warbler, the only locally found perching bird and the only bird species found nowhere but on Nauru. It has no competition for nesting and forages in gardens, scrubby waste areas and on the inland scarp. Few birders will have it on their life-lists, Nauru is very far from the beaten track! 

Birds on stamps are a great topic, but the number of new issues exploded just as I got interested and I became overwhelmed!  My birds are getting swept up into my stamps around the whole, which I do not aim to complete so feel more relaxed about.

The design is Michael Goaman's. His designs would make a fine little collection. They are distinctive and restrained, with first-class typography and a thoughtful approach to the task.