Monday, January 3, 2011

Owls of Belarus. Series of year 2007 .

On November 23, 2007 Belarus Post  issued a set of 4 stamps “Owls of Belarus”. The series will continue on the following year 2008 with another species.The stamps featured the Nothern Hawk-owl (surnia sula), Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), Short-eared Owl ( Asio flammeus), and Eurasian Pygmy Owl  (Glaucidium passerinum) and have  printed the logo of Bird Life International.
Northern Hawk-Owl ( Surnia ulula)
bel200708lThe Northern Hawk Owl is a non-migratory bird that stays within its breeding range.This bird lays 3-7 white eggs in large tree cavities or nests abandoned by other large birds.It will also nest on cliffsides . It is found in the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia, usually on the edges of more open woodland.
The Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) is a medium sized owl. The term "hawk" refers to its falcon-like wing shape and long tail. This bird is 35-43 cm long with a 69-82 cm wingspan. It has a rounded head with yellow eyes, dark brown upperparts and barred underparts and tail.It is the only living species in the genus Surnia.
This is a partially nocturnal owl, which hunts voles and birds like thrushes. It waits on a perch and takes advantage of its rapid flight to overtake prey. The Hawk Owl has exceptional hearing and can plunge into snow to capture rodents below the surface.

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)
bel200709lThe Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a large owl of the family Strigidae. This species nests on the ground, building a scrape on top of a mound or boulder.Snowy Owls winter south through Canada and northernmost Eurasia, with irruptions occurring further south in some years.
This yellow-eyed, black billed white bird is easily recognizable. The distinguished size are 52–71 cm long with a 125–150 cm wingspan. These birds can weigh  from 1.6–3 kilograms .
The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark scalloping; the young are heavily barred, and dark spotting may even predominate. Its thick plumage, heavily-feathered taloned feet, and coloration render.
The Snowy Owl well-adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle.They feed on a wide variety of small mammals such as meadow voles and deer mice, but will take advantage of larger prey, frequently following traplines to find food.
Snowy Owl calls are varied, but the alarm call is a barking, almost quacking krek-krek; the female also has a softer mewling pyee-pyee or prek-prek. The song is a deep repeated gawh.
Environmental conditions also cause local threats of food shortages, but their ability to be mobile permits them to move to areas where supplies may be more sufficient.Human activities probably pose the greatest danger to these birds, through collisions with power lines, fences, automobiles, or other structures that impose on their natural habitat.   
Short-eared Owl ( Asio flammeus)
bel200710lThe Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a species of typical owl (family Strigidae). Owls belonging to genus Asio are known as the eared owls, as they have tufts of feathers resembling mammalian ears. These "ear" tufts may or may not be visible.This ear will display when in a defensive pose.
Asio flammeus, the Short-eared Owl, is a medium-sized owl averaging 34–43 cm in length and weighing 206–475 grams. Wingspans range from 85 to 103 cm. It has large eyes, big head, short neck, and broad wings. Its bill is short, strong, hooked and black. Its plumage is mottled tawny to brown with a barred tail and wings. The upper breast is significantly streaked. Females are slightly larger than males.
The yellow-orange eyes of Short-eared Owl are exaggerated by black rings encircling each eye, giving the appearance of them wearing Mascara, and large, whitish disks of plumage surrounding the eyes like a mask.
The Short-eared Owl occurs on all continents except Antarctica and Australia. They  breed in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Galápagos Islands. It is partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its range.
Hunting occurs mostly at night, but this owl is diurnal and crepuscular as well as nocturnal. Its daylight hunting seems to coincide with the high-activity periods of voles, its preferred prey.
The Short-eared Owl nests on the ground in prairie, tundra, savanna, or meadow habitats. Nests are concealed by low vegetation, and may be lightly lined by weeds, grass, or feathers . Approximately 4 to 7 white eggs are found in a typical clutch. Sexual maturity is attained at one year. These owls are generally monogamous.
It is listed as declining in the southern portion of its range. It is listed as of special concern, threatened, or endangered in some states and common in northern portion of breeding range.
Eurasian Pygmy Owl  (Glaucidium passerinum)
The Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium passerinum, is the smallest owl in Europe. Female owls are generally bigger than the males. The length of the males is about 15.2 to 17cm and the length of females is  from 17.4 to 19cm
The Eurasian Pygmy Owl is usually red tinged to a grayish-brown with dots on his/her back. The pygmy owl has a small, short head with white to gray eyebrows and yellow eyes.  There is a white half collar on the back of the neck. The belly is mostly white with brown speckles. The beak is a grayish yellow and hook shaped. The legs and toes are a brownish-yellow with black talons. .

The Eurasian Pygmy Owl can be found in Northern and Central Europe, and east to Siberia.They can be found primarily in coniferous forests of the boreal zone and higher mountainous regions with coniferous and mixed forests. These areas generally have cooler temperatures and higher rainfall than nearby lowland regions.
Eurasian Pygmy Owls' nest sites are often surrounded by moist or swampy land, in groups of young spruces with a water source nearby. They nest in tree cavities, usually being old woodpecker holes.Eurasian Pygmy Owls are serially monogamous, meaning that they only have one mate at a time; therefore, the two owls may pair for more than one breeding season
The diet of the Eurasian Pygmy Owl includes mostly small vertebrate mammals like voles, lemmings, and mice. They may also catch small birds like thrushes, crossbills, chaffinches, and leaf-warblers.
The sheet-let comprised of 2 sets of 4 stamps and FDC (First Day Cover) have issued together.

Special postmark and FDC designed by O. Suzko.


  1. It is nice to see your blog here.

  2. Really very nice & wonderful,i like your post- complete information about the 4 stamps " Owls of Belarus" with the images. Fantastic work done.

    Thanks & regards
    Nilesh Shukla

  3. I really like your blog it's really nice. I really enjoy here. & Your article its so unique its amazing. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.Online Ged


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