Border birds

FLIGHT December 2009 – Volume 24 No. 2
British Indian Ocean Territory 5.10.09 Definitives in sheet of 12

This sheet of 12 values includes Red Fody, Foudia madagascariensis on the 54p and Great Frigatebird, Fregata minor on the 90p value.

The prominent birds in the left border are Red-footed Booby, Sula sula, which breed in the Territory.
Illlustration: B.I.O.T. Post
Canada 9.4.09 Preservation of the polar regions and glaciers

The bird stamp features an Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea and the lower left border features Emperor Penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri. These were listed in September FLIGHT. However, the lower right border features an Adelie Penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, which was only listed in December FLIGHT.

Illustration: Canada Post
France 22.6.09 Extinct or endangered species

The 0.90€ stamp features a California Condor, Gymnogyps californianus, which also appears in the surrounds at bottom centre. The white heron/egret in the surrounds close to the feet of the rhinoceros is a better fit for Great Egret, Ardea alba than the Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis that might be expected in this situation. Neither egret is a specially endangered species but the bird seems to be present as an associate of the rhinoceros - like the giraffes above. The composite background scene takes in wildlife from four continents!

The illustration is from France LaPoste which cites the Giant Panda, California Condor, Aurochs and the rhinoceros as the selected endangered species.

15 December 2009

A society member who knows East Africa has agreed that the the Egret is more likely to be a Great Egret. He has also pointed out the omission of the pair of Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, Buphagus africanus, on the rump of the rhinoceros.

Guatemala 12.11.08 Birds of Guatemala

The 20q miniature sheet from this issue features Orange-chinned Parakeet, Brotogeris jugularis. The four other birds shown in the sheet surrounds are correctly inscribed with their names. From left to right they are:
Resplendent Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno
White-throated Magpie-Jay, Calocitta formosa
Gray Silky-flycatcher, Ptilogonys cinereus
Lesser Nighthawk, Chordeiles acutipennis

Guinea-Bissau 2009 Sir Peter Scott birth centenary

The 3500f stamp on this sheet features Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope in the foreground and Pink-footed Goose, Anser brachyrhynchus in the background. The border birds are more problematic, appearing in some of the late Sir Peter’s paintings. The easiest are the ducks in the top right-hand corner and the solitary duck to the left of the stamp. They are Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos. The geese in the top right-hand painting are indicated as Canada Goose, Branta canadensis but it is hard to be sure. The wildfowl in the top centre and top left-hand paintings appear to be geese, but I can’t be specific.

Does anybody have ideas - perhaps from a knowledge of the paintings?

Netherlands Antilles 20.4.09 Birds of South America

As well as the birds on the 24 stamp values listed in September 2009, the three labels on the right-hand side (and blown up on the far right) are listed in December FLIGHT. From top to bottom they are identified as:
Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Chrysomus icterocephalus
Amazon Kingfisher, Chloroceryle amazona
White-throated Toucan, Ramphastos tucanus

South Africa - 2.3.09 Preserve the polar regions and glaciers

As well as the stamp showing Light-mantled Albatross, Phoebetria palpebrata and the image of swimming Emperor Penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri in the left surrounds, there is a sketchy image of a flying black capped, red billed and basically white tern at top right. The issue is written up and described at considerable length on the South Africa Post Office (SAPO) website but no mention is made of the tern. I have hesitantly listed it as Antarctic Tern, Sterna vittata.

Illustration: SAPO
Vanuatu - 28.3.09
Mystery Island

  The 200v stamp features Sooty Tern, Onychoprion fuscatus and the bird seen from below in the surrounds just above the 130v stamp may be intended as the same species but it is too vague to identify positively. The flying bird that appears in the surrounds just above the ‘n’ of Vanuatu is a Red-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon rubricauda judging by its red bill and greyish under fore-wings, though its tail colour is difficult to determine.           Illustration: Vanuatu Post

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