Border birds

FLIGHT March 2011 – Volume 25 No. 3
Australia - 5.10.10 - Rescue to Release

This colourful issue celebrates wildlife care in the form of a sanctuary rescuing animals in distress and later releasing them back into the wild. 1 of the 6 stamps features a Southern Boobook, Ninox boobook. Prominent in the surrounds is the act of release of an Australasian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen.

Comoro Islands - 5.9.09 - Terns

The stamp on this sheet, featuring Brown Noddy, Anous stolidus, was listed in the December 2010 issue of FLIGHT.

The three birds in the surrounds are now listed as:

Top right        White Tern, Gygis alba
Bottom left     Great Crested Tern, Thalasseus bergii
Bottom right   Lesser Noddy, Anous tenuirostris

Colombia - 15.6.10 - Atlantico province - Sheet of 12 (Top half shown)

Continuing the provincial issues of Colombia, the 2000p bird on the stamp is a Pied Water-Tyrant, Fluvicola pica, a species new to stamps.

In the top gutter we have, left, a species of heron which, as shown in silhouette, looks most like a Tricolor Heron, Egretta tricolor. An alternative id. Is Agami Heron, Agamia agami, but the bill is not long enough.

Right in the top gutter is a bird of prey for which the closest fit is Roadside Hawk, Buteo magnirostris, although the beak is not right for it.

Iceland - 16.9.10 - International year of biodiversity

This colourful miniature sheet may be ignored by some bird stamp collectors since it only shows species in silhouette. However, we like FLIGHT to be comprehensive so the species on the stamps have been listed as (possible) White-tailed Eagle and an unidentified species of duck.

But don’t miss the dumpy bird in the right-hand surrounds. This is possibly a Rock Ptarmigan, Lagopus mutus.

Mozambique - 2009 - Charles Darwin - 175m MS

In addition to the Lesser Rhea on the stamp there is an exotic-looking bird flying in the top right corner of the surrounds. This is an extinct species - Confuciusornis sanctus. Wikipedia carries the following text on this genus and I have added an illustration of a fossil of C.sanctus.

Confuciusornis is a genus of primitive crow-sized birds from the Early Cretaceous Yixian and Jiufotang Formations of China, dating from 125 to 120 million years ago. Like modern birds, Confuciusornis had a toothless beak, but close relatives of modern birds such as Hesperornis and Ichthyornis were toothed, indicating that the loss of teeth occurred convergently in Confuciusornis and living birds. It is the oldest known bird to have a beak. It was named after the Chinese moral philosopher Confucius (551-479 BCE). Confuciusornis is one of the most abundant vertebrates found in the Yixian Formation, and several hundred complete, articulated specimens have been found.
Mozambique - 2009 - Sir Peter Scott - MS

The stamp shows an image of flying Mallard.

The upper background shows flying Canada Geese, Branta canadensis, though I suppose they could equally be Cackling Geese, Branta hutchinsii, which really only differ by being smaller.

Also in the surrounds, Sir Peter is in the act of painting some flying swans. They could be Whooper, Cygnus cygnus or Tundra (Bewick) Cygnus columbianus but I can’t be sure.

TOGO - 15.6.10 - Bee-eaters

The bird on the stamp is Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus. The bird in the left surrounds is Red-throated Bee-eater, Merops bulocki, and the bird in the right surrounds is Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Merops nubicus.

TOGO - 15.6.10 - Wetland birds

The bird on the stamp is Greater Painted-snipe, Rostratula benghalensis. The birds in the surrounds are, from the left -

Crested Guineafowl, Guttera pucherani
African Jacana, Actophilornis africanus
Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris

TOGO - 15.6.10 - Birds of prey

The bird on the stamp is African Fish-Eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer. The birds in the surrounds are, from the left -

Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax
Long-crested Eagle, Lophaetus occipitalis
Brown Snake-Eagle, Circaetus cinereus

TOGO - 18.06.10 - Owls

The bird on the stamp is Pearl-spotted Owlet, Glaucidium perlatum. There are two bird species in the surrounds. The two perched and two flying on the left are Barn Owl, Tyto alba. The bird flying on the right is Marsh Owl, Asio capensis.

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