Title : DEFINITIVE POSTAGE STAMP
Stamp Serial#
1939 
KPC#
389 
MICHEL#
1963 
StanGib#
Not listed 
Scott#
1839 
Date of Issue
02/19/1998 
Quantity
To be issued as required 
Denomination
50 won 
Design
Watercock (scientific name : Gallicrex cinerea
Designer
Kim, Im-yong 
Image Area
19mm*22mm 
Perforation
13 
Sheet Composition
10*10 
Paper
white unwatermarked
Print
Korea Security Printing and Minting Corporation 
Description
In line with the Ministry of Information and Communication's plan to phase in new difinitive stamps to replace those in use, for some time, the 50-won definitive stamp showing an 'earthenware cart' which was first issued on September 28, 1990, is being replaced by displaying a bird called a 'watercock'.

The watercock (Gallicrex cinerea) is a summer visitor of the rail family to Korea. It used to be distributed throughout the Korean peninsula but its numbers have sharply decreased recently due to environmental pollution and indiscriminate poaching.

The bird arrives in Korea in early June and leaves for warmer countries, such as the Philippines, in mid-October. About 33 cm in body length, the male is slightly smaller in size than the female. The male is also distinguished by the red crest on its head which appears during the summer.

The watercock spends the daylight hours in woods or bushes near paddy fields and comes out into the rice fields and onto surrounding levees early in the morning and in the evening. It builds an untidy dish-like nest using stems of rice plants or grass in rice fields or on the grass or ground nearby. Three to five eggs are laid in June and July. It feeds mostly on insects, mollusks, and grass sprouts.

Its sound is a distinctive shirp of 'tumpuk, tumpuk', whence its Korean name 'Tumbugi'. Many Koreans, seeing this graceful bird on this stamp, will be reminded of the old Korean nursery song 'Thinking of My Elder Brother'.