Sunday, October 12, 2014


This is not the kind of Thanksgiving turkey you want to find on your table this weekend. He's an Ocellated Turkey that lives in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and also parts of Belize and Guatamala. Both male and female birds have body feathers of a bronze-green iridescent colour mixture which makes them easily distinguishable from their North American cousin. 

This week I received a postcard with a 'forever stamp' and this 70¢ orange butterfly which I now know is a Great Spangled Frittilary. 
According to the USPS website The square format of the stamp was developed in partnership with the greeting card industry to indicate that this stamp may be used for square envelopes weighing up to and including one ounce. Greeting card envelopes printed with a silhouette of a butterfly indicate the need for an additional 21 cents postage -- or the use of this butterfly stamp. The butterfly stamp may also be used to mail envelopes with irregular sizes and shapes.
  What I also learned from the USPS website is that the art for the frittilary was designed on a computer, using preserved specimens as models so it's a simplified stylized version of the butterfly. It can be found in all the northern states as far south as Georgia and California.  They also have a very close relationship with violets. The females will lay their eggs on or near clumps of violets in August or September. When the eggs hatch, the larvae crawl to the violets and hide among the fallen leaves and hibernate. When spring arrives, the caterpillars come out of hibernation and feed on the fresh violet leaves before form ing a chrysalis and transforming into adult butterflies.. An adult frittilary can have a wingspan up to 4". 

Just for fun, here is a video of a strutting Belizean ocellated turkey


  1. We get fritillary butterflies occasionally in our garden but smaller varieties than the one on your stamp. I shall be in the States shortly so will look out for it.

  2. I didn't know the name of that butterfly or that the shape was chosen to match square greeting cards.

  3. I got a stamp from Thailand this week and got all excited. I was glad that my order came from there and not China. Love the stamp from Mexico.

  4. I wonder if the ocellated turkey is protected. Thank you for sharing some interesting stamps.

  5. Both are beautiful stamps!
    And thank you for adding the video. At first sight I thought to see it very funny how the male turkey is strutting, and then I thought that there are not that much differences between humans and these birds (immediately there came some people I know in mind, who wear expensive cloths and/or drive impressive cars :-)

  6. are you sure we wouldnt want to have it on our table..? :D looks gorgeous, and from such a rare country too

  7. square stamps for square envelopes - well that is logical I suppose. There was an article on the bbc news website this week, about how you need a maths degree to post a parcel nowadays with all the rules (in the UK).
    The turkey is definitely more attractive that the regular turkey.

  8. The article Lisa mentions is correct. I had to send a parcel to France last week and I was nearly tearing my hair out. The thought of having to worry about the shape of cards wouldn't thrill me though we do have to distinguish between large and small letters on all three dimensions, and thereby enter the fourth.

    Your lovely stamps would soothe me every time, especially the turkey.

  9. So funny all the females are ignoring him. Gorgeous feathers. I like the ideas behind the US stamp, could do with something like that here as we have ordinary letter and large letter costs.


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