Border birds

FLIGHT March 2013 – Volume 27 No. 3
Christmas Island - 1.11.12 - Christmas

There are Christmas Island Frigatebirds Fregata andrewsi just above the stamps as well as on them.

The parrot at the far left of the surrounds is unidentified to species; there are no native parrots on Christmas Island.

The bird carrying the parcel at top left is a White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus. The Christmas Island subspecies, P.l.fulvus, has an apricot wash to its plumage and is sometimes known as the Golden Bosunbird.

The bird on the ground in the trees on the far right is difficult to identify just from the head and upper breast but it may be the native Red-footed Booby Sula sula.

A welcome comment on the 'parrot' identification has been received from Norbert Kaschek. His comment and my response to it are as follows:
'In the a.m. issue of “Flight” you focus on a mini sheet of Christmas Island (issued 1st Nov., 2012) and you write: “The parrot at the far left of the surrounds is unidentified to species; there are no native parrots on Christmas Island.”
But there isn’t a parrot! It is a raptor (I think, it is an eagle). Look at the bird’s feet: three claws are directed forward. In parrots two toes are facing forward (digits 2 and 3) and two back (digits 1 and 4).
Browsing the “List of birds of Christmas Island” (Wikipedia) I found the White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) which I would say is the bird on the left of the mini sheet. (The only parrot mentioned in the list is the Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri, specified as “introduced, breeding?”)'
'Thanks for your help with the Christmas Island "parrot". I fully accept what you say about its feet so it may well be intended as a raptor. However it looks nothing like the White-bellied Sea Eagle to my eyes. The shape of the head and beak is too rounded, it lacks the white feathering on the head and neck, and the wing and tail colours and tail shape are wrong. I can't match it with any other species so it must remain 'unidentified' at present. It may exist only in the artist's imagination!'

New Caledonia - 23.9.12 - Michel Corbasson Park

The bird on the lower left stamp is a New Caledonian Crow, famous for its
tool-using abilities.

In the central surrounds we have, from top to bottom:

Black-naped Tern, Sterna sumatrana
Sacred Kingfisher, Todiramphus sanctus
Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus

Michel Corbasson is a zoological park which explains the way out of range flamingos.

Uganda - 8.11.12 - Birds of prey MS

The stamp shows Rueppell’s Griffon. The birds in the surrounds are Egyptian Vulture, Neophron percnopterus.

China (Taiwan) - 27.11.12 - Minisheet

The right-hand border of this 3-stamp minisheet shows a faded image of the birds on the $70 sheet listed separately in FLIGHT:
Eurasian Blackbird, Turdus merula
Scarlet Minivet, Pericrocotus flammeus
Black-throated Laughingthrush, Garrulax chinensis
Azure-winged Magpie, Cyanopica cyanus
Japanese Waxwing, Bombycilla japonica
Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush, Monticola saxatilis
Oriental Magpie-Robin, Copsychus saularis
Crested Myna, Acridotheres cristatellus
Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush, Monticola saxatilis
Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus

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