22 October 2016

Birds of Greenland

5kr. : Rock Ptarmigan (岩雷鳥) ; 10kr. : Snowy Owl (雪鴞) ; 3kr. Gyrfalcon (矛隼)
4,10kr. : Raven (渡鴉) ; 5,50kr. : White-tailed Eagle (白尾鷲)
7kr. : Great Northern Diver (普通潛鳥) ; 3,20kr. : Long-tailed Duck (長尾鴨)
4,40kr. Snow Bunting (雪鵐) ; 5,50kr. : Black Guillemot (黑海鳩)
6,50kr. : Brunnich's Guillemot (厚嘴海鴉) ; 4kr. : Snow Goose (雪雁)
7,50kr. Long-tailed Jaeger (長尾賊鷗)
Greenland (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)

14th April, 2016. Aasiaat, Iginniarfik

There are 235 different species of bird in the airspace over Greenland. Some of these birds also breed on land, they include the majestic sea eagle.

The majority of Greenland's birds are migratory birds and there are therefore only around 60 species that are regarded as permanent breeders in the country.

In addition to the birds above, a number of other birds should also be mentioned. This applies in particular to the black raven, which is probably the bird that the majority of people notice. The raven is in the crow family and breeds all over the country.

Its characteristic croaking call can be heard very clearly if you are out hiking.

The snow bunting is another very common bird that leaves Greenland in about September and returns in March. Greenland also has two species of falcon - the peregrine falcon and the gerfalcon - which are both protected species.

15 October 2016

Songbirds of Romania

From left to right :
9,10L : Bullfinch (紅腹灰雀) ; 8,10L : Bohemian Waxwing (太平鳥)
5L : Yellowhammer (黃鵐) ; 4,50L : Hawfinch (錫嘴雀)
Romania (2015)

25th April, 2016. Noluntari

Romfilatelia proposes to bird lovers and philatelists a special postage stamp issue illustrating Songbirds. Also called Oscines (from the Latin word oscine meaning songbird), these were assigned by ornithologists to the order Passeriformes, being characterized by the diversity of size and plumage.

8 October 2016

Protected wildlife in Romanian reserves

8,10L, 5L : Eastern White Pelican (白鵜鶘)
3,60L, 9,10L : Dalmatian Pelican (卷羽鵜鶘)
Romania (2015)
25th April, 2016. Voluntari

Romfilatelia recalls the richness of the natural heritage of Romania by introducing into circulation a postage stamp issue dedicated to the species of pelicans living in our country, as part of a broader topic consecrated to protected wildlife from Romanian reserves. In the Danube Delta, we can find two species: the Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) and the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus).

The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve celebrates this year its 25th anniversary. The only delta in the world entirely declared a biosphere reserve and a UNESCO world heritage site since 1991, it shelters an impressive number of pelicans from both species, these birds being declared a natural monument.

The margin of the souvenir sheet emphasizes the 25-year anniversary since the foundation of the Reserve and its belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage.

1 October 2016

Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby (紅腳鰹鳥)
Ascension (2016)
22th February, 2016. Georgetown

Red-footed Booby is the smallest member of the booby and gannet family at about 70 cm in length and with a wingspan of up to 1m. The average weight of 490 adults from Christmas Island was 837g. It has red legs, and its bill and throat pouch are coloured pink and blue. This species has several morphs. In the white morph the plumage is mostly white (the head often tinged yellowish) and the flight feathers are black. The black-tailed white morph is similar, but with a black tail, and can easily be confused with the Nazca and masked boobies. The brown morph is overall brown. The white-tailed brown morph is similar, but has a white belly, rump, and tail. The white-headed and white-tailed brown morph has a mostly white body, tail and head, and brown wings and back. The morphs commonly breed together, but in most regions one or two morphs predominates; e.g. at the Galápagos Islands, most belong to the brown morph, though the white morph also occurs.

The sexes are similar, and juveniles are brownish with darker wings, and pale pinkish legs, while chicks are covered in dense white down.

24 September 2016

Immortal Blossoms of an Eternal Spring (I)

From left to right :
NT$5 : Barn Swallow (家燕) ; NT$9 : Common Rosefinch (普通朱雀)
NT$10 : Vinous-throated Parrotbill (粉紅鸚嘴) ; NT$12 : Yellow-billed Grosbeak (黑尾蠟嘴雀)
Taiwan (2016)

29th March, 2016. Shilin

Giuseppe Castiglione is an Italian named Giuseppe Castiglione, was a native of Milan. At the age of 19 he became a Jesuit as a novitiate and studied oil painting and architecture. At 27 he went to China and was called to the court, serving as a painter under three emperors: Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong. Skilled in figure and bird-and-flower subjects (particularly horses and dogs), his style combined Western techniques (such as perspective and modeling) with traditional Chinese methods. This blending resulted in colorful works with realistic forms.

Each of the sixteen leaves of flowers in the seasons from this album includes rock, bird, or plant motifs. Though the subjects are from life, the compositions are exquisite, each part in harmony for a rare masterpiece fusing Chinese and Western art.

17 September 2016

Sunbirds of South Africa

From left to right :
Lemon-breasted Seedeater (檸檬黃胸絲雀)
Neergaard's Sunbird (尼氏花蜜鳥) ; Plain-backed Sunbird (純背食蜜鳥) ; 
Collared Sunbird (環頸直嘴太陽鳥)
White-breasted Sunbird (白腹花蜜鳥) ; Dusky Sunbird (暗色蜜鳥)
South Africa (1996, 2012)
17th February, 2016. Pretoria

South Africa ranks as one of the top birding destinations in the world, offering an unbeatable combination of variety of birds, well developed transport systems, and a user-friendly and supportive birding tourism industry.

Birders from around the world come to experience both the great variety of typically African birds, migrants, and endemics - those birds found only in South Africa. These birders enjoy excellent birding, whether they are with an organised commercial birding tour or are touring independently.

Of the 850 or so species that have been recorded in South Africa, about 725, or 85%, are resident or annual visitors, and about 50 of these are endemic or near- endemic to South Africa, and can only be seen in the country.

Apart from the resident birds, South Africa hosts a number of African migrants such as cuckoos and kingfishers, as well as birds from the Arctic, Europe, Central Asia, China and Antarctica during the year.

10 September 2016

Red-billed Streamertail

Red-billed Streamertail (紅嘴長尾蜂鳥)
Jamaica (1995)
26th January, 2016. Negril

Red-billed streamertail also known as the doctor bird, scissor-tail or scissors tail hummingbird, is indigenous to Jamaica, where it is the most abundant and widespread member of the hummingbird family. While most authorities now consider it a separate species, some (including the American Ornithologists' Union) continue to consider it conspecific with the black-billed streamertail. The red-billed streamertail is the national bird of Jamaica.

When the black-billed streamertail of eastern Jamaica (found mostly in the parish of Portland) is considered a separate species, the red-billed streamertail occurs west of a line from Morant Bay following the Morant River, and via Ginger House and the middle Rio Grande to Port Antonio.

The next-to-outermost rectrices of the male are 15–18 centimetres (6–7 in) long, far longer than its bearer's body. Trailing behind the flying hummingbird like thin black streamers, these feathers make a humming sound. Females lack the elongated rectrices, and are largely white below.

These birds feed on nectar from flowers using a long extendable tongue or catch small insects on the wing.

The bird is featured in Ian Fleming's James Bond short story For Your Eyes Only. The first line of the book reads, "The most beautiful bird in Jamaica, and some say the most beautiful bird in the world, is the streamer-tail or doctor humming-bird."

3 September 2016

Matt Sewell’s Birds

Atlantic Puffin (角嘴海雀)
Isle of Man (2016)
24th March, 2016. Isle of Man

The 10 iconic illustrations from the celebrated artist and ornithologist showcase the diverse range of birdlife the British Isles, including the Isle of Man. Recreated from the original water colours, the images include many popular species, but we are especially pleased that this set of stamps includes the Manx Shearwater as an exclusive design.

Matt will be familiar to some as former artist-in-residence on the BBC’s Springwatch Unsprung and his appearances on Countryfile, but his work has reached a global audience through a series of books, publications like the Guardian and The Big Issue and exhibitions in London, Manchester, New York, Tokyo and Paris.

As someone who admits to having been obsessed with birds for as long as they can remember, an invitation to see what Manx shores had to offer was too good to miss for Matt, and didn’t disappoint.

The Isle of Man is home to dozens of species including fittingly given the subject of Matt’s new book, many seabirds. Numbered among them is the Manx Shearwater, a bird once threatened with a severe decline in numbers which is now once again on the increase. Matt’s Shearwater illustration is a wonderful and exclusive addition to this set.

Matt has also written text to accompany the stamp, explaining his lifelong love of birds, how he began drawing them and offering often whimsical descriptions of the species featured. He also talks about his conservation work with charities fighting to protect under-threat bird habitats.

Common Pheasant (雉雞)
Isle of Man (2016)
24th March, 2016. Isle of Man

Blue Tit (藍山雀)
Isle of Man (2016)
24th March, 2016. Isle of Man

European Robin (知更鳥)
Isle of Man (2016)
24th March, 2016. Isle of Man

Goldfinch (紅額金翅雀)
Isle of Man (2016)
24th March, 2016. Isle of Man

Common Starling (椋鳥)
Isle of Man (2016)
24th March, 2016. Isle of Man

27 August 2016

Bailiwick Life

Atlantic Puffin (角嘴海雀)
Guernsey (2016)

7th February, 2015. Guernsey

This latest issue of Guernsey Post & Go stamps includes six fantastic images of animals, all of which are associated with the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

The first of the stamps features a donkey, partly in recognition of the fact that people of Guernsey are sometimes referred to as donkeys! The inclusion of the donkey in this set is also to pay homage to the original Guernsey golden donkey, which is now extinct.

Other animals with island connections pictured on the stamps include the Guernsey golden goat, the iconic Guernsey cow, the Atlantic grey seal, the puffin and the unusual blonde hedgehog.

20 August 2016

World Wetlands Day 2016

From left to right :
Rs.7 : Fulvous Whistling-duck (草黃樹鴨) ; Rs.50 : Caspian Tern (紅咀巨鷗)
Rs.35 : Indian Spot-bill Duck (印度花嘴鴨) ; Rs.10 : Greater Flamingo (大紅鶴)
Sri Lanka (2016)
26th March, 2016. Colombo

Wetlands arereferred to as habitats with permanent or temporary accumulation of water with associated floral and faunal communities. Sri Lanka has a geography which supports the formation of wetlands to a great extent. Due to diverse geographical settings, wetlands of different areas display different characteristics. There are 3 broad categories of wetlands found in the country namely:
  • Inland natural fresh water wetlands
  • Marine and saltwater wetlands
  • Man-made wetlands
The interaction between soil, water, plants and animals in the wetlands enable many functions which are useful to people as well as the entire eco-system. Sri Lanka is a mesmerizing destination for bird watching. However, the wetlands in the country beside the others are among the best places to observe Sri Lanka’s avifauna.
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