Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Birds of Israel

Israel Post issued the stamp series depicts the small passerine bird found in their country. The issuance consisted of three stamps features Carduelis carduelis, Upupa epops, Prinia Gracilis.
Carduelis carduelis
The European Goldfinch or Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a small passerine bird in the finch family.The goldfinch breeds across Europe, North Africa, and western and central Asia, in open, partially wooded lowlands. It is resident in the milder west of its range, but migrates from colder regions.
The average Goldfinch is 12–13 cm long with a wingspan of 21–25 cm and a weight of 14 to 19 grams. The sexes are broadly similar, with a red face, black and white head, warm brown upperparts, white underparts with buff flanks and breast patches, and black and yellow wings.Goldfinches in breeding condition have a white bill, with a greyish or blackish mark at the tip for the rest of the year.
Juveniles have a plain head and a greyer back but are unmistakable due to the yellow wing stripe.
The goldfinch's preferred food is small seeds such as those from thistles (the Latin name is from Carduus, a genus of thistles) and teasels, but insects are also taken when feeding young. It also regularly visits bird feeders in winter.
They nest in the outer twigs of tall leafy trees, or even in bamboo, laying four to six eggs which hatch in 11–14 days.
Upupa epops
The Hoopoe ,Upupa epops, is a colourful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive 'crown' of feathers. It is the only extant species in the family Upupidae. The English name is derived from Latin upupa, which imitates the cry of the bird.
The Hoopoe is a medium sized bird, 25–32 cm long, with a 44–48 cm wingspan weighing 46-89 g.The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base. The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies.
The Hoopoe has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.
Prinia gracilis
The Graceful Prinia, Prinia gracilis, is a small warbler (in some older works it is referred to as Graceful Warbler). This prinia is a resident breeder in Northeast Africa and Southwest Asia, from Egypt and Somalia east to Pakistan and North India, where it is sometimes called Streaked Wren-Warbler.
This active passerine bird is typically found in shrub or tall grass in a variety of habitats with thick undergrowth, tamarisks or similar cover. Graceful Prinia builds its nest in a bush or grass and lays 3-5 eggs.
These 10-11 cm long warblers have short rounded wings, and a long tapering tail with each feather tipped with black and white. In breeding plumage, adults are grey-brown above, with dark streaking.
The underparts are whitish with buff flanks, and the bill is short and black.
The sexes are similar. In winter, adults are brighter sandy brown above with weaker streaking, there is more buff on the sides, and the bill is paler.The long tail is often cocked, and the flight of this species is weak. Like most warblers, Graceful Prinia is insectivorous. The call is a rolling trilled breep, and the song is a hard rolling repletion of zerlip.

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