2018 Game Bird Habitat

World Wetlands Day, held every year on 2 February, marks the date of the adoption of the intergovernmental treaty the Convention on Wetlands. The New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Collection is issued every year on this date; the 2018 issue is the 25th in the series and features the mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos).  

Issue information

The mallard duck is the most commonly seen game bird in New Zealand. Its introduction to the country began with a series of importations from England between 1870 and 1930.

The mallard duck can be found just about anywhere that water is present, from slow-moving rivers, hydro-dams and estuaries to public parks, urban water features and botanic gardens.

Crossbreeding with grey ducks has meant that the mallard in now less vivid and less distinctive than its Northern Hemisphere cousin. The male is easily recognised by its deep-green, glossy head and prominent chestnut breast. It’s around 10 per cent larger than the female, with mainly grey body plumage broken by striking blue secondary flight wings. The female’s rather plain, somewhat speckled plumage is brightened with a vivid blue strip that is best shown off during flight.

The 2018 New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Collection consists of a stamp, miniature sheet, first day cover, miniature sheet first day cover and limited edition, and a hand-numbered and signed artist print. Each print includes two stamps, of which one is signed by the artist, Karen Baddock.

Karen Baddock grew up surrounded and inspired by the natural settings of her family farm. Born in Dunedin in 1964, she spent nine years as a graphic artist before turning to self-employment through painting. She has been producing works of incredible quality for the past 26 years. While birds are her main subject of interest, she also uses her sketches and photographs to create rustic landscapes and portraits of loved ones. To take a closer look at her detailed works you can visit her studio, Bluegum Gallery in Dunedin, or visit wildlife-art.co.nz.

Technical information

Date of issue: 2 February 2018
Denomination and design: $10.00, Mallard duck
Stamp, miniature sheet and first day cover illustrations by: Karen Baddock, Dunedin, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours 
Stamp size and format: 52mm x 37.5mm (horizontal)
Miniature sheet size and format: 110mm x 90mm (horizontal)
Paper type:  Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Perforation gauge: 14.25
Period of sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until close of business 1 February 2019. Prints are available for three years after issue.