Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Black swift – Belarus’s Bird of the Year 2012

On March 22, 2012 the Ministry of Communications and Information of the Republic of Belarus issued the stamp set features Black swift from the regularly series “Bird of the year”. This issued stamp  has marked logo of Birdlife International.

The Black Swift or The Common Swift (Apus apus) is a medium-sized bird, larger than   Barn Swallow or House Martin but this species completely unrelated to those passerine species. The Black Swift nearest relatives are thought to be the New World hummingbirds and the Southeast Asian treeswifts.

Black Swifts are 16–17 cm long with a wingspan of 38–40 cm and entirely blackish-brown except for a small white or pale grey patch on their chins which is not visible from a distance. They have a short forked tail and very long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang.These birds have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces . They never settle voluntarily on the ground, where they would be vulnerable to accidents and predation. Black swifts are migratory.
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