Monday, January 3, 2011

Owls–Another Birds of Belarus 2008.

On December22,2008 the Ministry of Communications and Information of the Republic of Belarus will issue the set of 4 stamps “Birds of Belarus. Owls”prepared by the Publishing Centre “Marka” of the EUR “Belpochta”. The stamps are printed the logo of BLI, Bird Life International.

Eurasian eagle owl
The Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle owl resident in much of Europe and Asia. It is also one of the largest types of owls.The Eurasian Eagle-owl is a large and powerful bird which has a wingspan of 138–200 cm and measures 58–73 cm long.
It mainly feeds on small mammals, but can kill prey up to the size of foxes and young deer.The call of the Eagle Owl is a deep resonant “ooh-hu” with emphasis on the first syllable for the male, and a more high-pitched uh-Hu for the female.
The size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. It has a strong direct flight. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females.The horned owls are a part of the larger grouping of owls known as the typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl.
The Eurasian Eagle-owl is largely nocturnal and is found in mountains and forests with cliffs and rocky areas, usually nesting on cliff ledges. They live for around 20 years although like many other bird species in captivity they can live much longer, perhaps up to 60 years.


Little Owl
The Little Owl (Athene noctua) is a bird which is resident in much of the temperate and warmer parts of Europe, Asia east to Korea, and north Africa.
The Little Owl is a small owl, 23-27.5 cm in length. The adult Little Owl  is white-speckled brown above, and brown-streaked white below. It has a large head, long legs, and yellow eyes, and its white “eyebrows” give it a stern expression.
There are 13 recognized races of Little owl spread across Europe and Asia. The Little Owl was sacred to the goddess Athena, from whom it gets the generic name.
This is a sedentary species which is found in open country such as mixed farmland and parkland. It takes prey such as insects, earthworms, amphibians, but also small birds and mammals. It becomes more vocal in nights as the breeding season approaches. Nest location varies based on the habitat, nests being found in holes in trees, rocks, cliffs, river banks, walls, buildings etc.


Common Scops Owl  or European Scops Owl
The European Scops Owl (Otus scops),  or just called as Scops Owl, is a small owl with size of 19–21 centimetres  length and a 47–54 centimetres  wingspan. It is not as large as the Little Owl.
This bird breeds in southern Europe eastwards into western and central Asia. It is migratory, wintering in southernmost Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.

The European Scops Owl is  nocturnal owl would be found outside the breeding season when it is not calling.It breeds in open woodland, parks and gardens. It lays 3-6 eggs in a tree hole.It takes small prey such as insects and other invertebrates.
The Scops Owl perches upright and shows small ear tufts. It is predominantly grey-brown in colour, with paler face, underparts and shoulder line. This species has a strong direct flight on long narrow wings, reflecting its migratory habits. The call is a deep whistle given by both sexes.


Ural Owl
The Ural Owl is smaller than the Great Grey Owl, and much larger than the Tawny Owl, which it superficially resembles.The Ural Owl (Strix uralensis) is a medium-large nocturnal owl of the genus Strix. This bird have 15 subspecies found in Europe and northern Asia.Sexes are similar, with no seasonal variation. Size: 50–59 cm; Wingspan: Male 115 cm, female 125 cm; Weight: Male 540-730 g, female 720-1200 g.
The Ural Owl feeds on rodents and medium-sized to large birds. Distinguishing features  from the Great Grey Owl are  the pale, buffish grey-brown plumage, with copious dark brown streaking on the back, back of the head and underparts. It has a round head with plain buffish-grey facial discs, orange-yellow bill and small black eyes. The tail is long and wedge-shaped, with dark barring on the uppertail, and the wings are rounded. Flight is direct and purposeful, recalling that of the Common Buzzard.

A sheet-let  comprised 2 set of 4 stamps and FDC (First Day Cover ) also issued together.


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