Sunday, April 1, 2012

Birds of Slovenia - 2011

Slovenia Post proudly issue the stamp set features the birds of their country.on 23 September 2011 The issue consist of three postage stamps depicted White-backed woodpecker, Eurasian curlew,  Ortolan bunting and one souvenir sheet consist of one postage stamp depicted White Stork (Ciconia ciconia).

White-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)
The White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) is a Eurasian woodpecker belonging to the genus Dendrocopos which lives primarily in deciduous forests with a high percentage of old trees and rotting trunks and stumps.The male has a red crown, the female a black one.It is the largest of the spotted woodpeckers in the western Palearctic, 24–26 cm long with wing-span 38–40 cm and has plumage with white bars across the wings rather than spots, and a white lower back.

In the breeding season, to hatch their eggs and raise their young, they excavate nest holes with oval entrances, usually in the trunks of dead beech trees. They most often feed on insects.

The white-backed woodpecker is Slovenia’s largest woodpecker and an extremely rare species both in Slovenia and in the rest of Europe. In Slovenia it mainly lives in beech forests and mixed remains of virgin forests. Its rarity can be ascribed to the methods of forestry, which do not provide sufficient amounts of dead fallen and standing wood for the survival of the white-backed woodpecker. Through the increased removal of biomass the stands of beech are becoming increasingly young, thus increasingly threatening Slovenia’s population of white-backed woodpeckers.
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)
The Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata, is a Europe’s largest wader  in the large family Scolopacidae. It is one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across temperate Europe and Asia.The Eurasian Curlew can be easily identified by  its mainly greyish brown, with a white back, and a very long curved bill, gently downward-curving beak and its characteristic call during its mating flight.

The Eurasian Curlew is the largest wader in its range, at 50–60 cm  in length, with a 89–106 cm wingspan and a body weight of 410–1,360 g.  Males and females look identical, but the bill is longest in the adult female.

The Eurasian Curlew rarely nests in Slovenia, building nests only in the extensive meadows of the Ljubljana marshes and Lake Cerknica.Its original nesting areas are extensive open marshes, wet grasslands, flood plains and wet heaths. Today it nests on grazed or mowed pastures. The Eurasian Curlew is a migratory species over most of its range, wintering in Africa, southern Europe and south Asia.  They feed on various small animals such as earthworms, insects and their larvae, and on the coast also shellfish, snails and crabs.
The Eurasian curlew is increasingly threatened by the intensification of agriculture, particularly the conversion of pastures and landscapes with rich biodiversity into monocultures of corn and other grains.Following the evaluation of its population size, this was found to be incorrect, and it is consequently uplisted to Near Threatened status in 2008.

Ortolan bunting (Emberiza hortulana)
The Ortolan bunting lives in dry, extensive pastures with isolated bushes and trees, where it loves to sing.The birds recognized by yellow-pink or peach-coloured belly contrasting with olive-toned head and breast and yellow throat. The Ortolan is 16 cm in length and weighs 20–25 grams .

The Ortolan, or Ortolan Bunting, Emberiza hortulana, is a bird in the bunting family Emberizidae which utilizes various habitats over its range. In most parts it inhabits open farmland where sparse trees and a high diversity of cereal crops are important. The diet seems to be principally seeds and small invertebrates.

The Ortolan bunting nests throughout almost all of Europe, choosing dry, sparsely grown grasslands with occasional spots of sandy soil. It feeds in diverse agricultural landscapes, preferably in unsprayed grain fields near villages, with plenty of seeds and insects.It is migrant bird and during winters mainly in Africa and the Middle East and can be considered a long-range migrant.
The Ortolan bunting is one of Slovenia’s rarest species of nesting songbirds. It is expected that the expansion of extensive grazing of small livestock on the Karst will also increase its amount of suitable habitat.A massive decline is occurring in many countries in Europe. The main reasons for the decline are changes in agriculture and landscape structure and overhunting. 

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)

The White Stork  or Ciconia ciconia has been a symbol of fertility in Slovenia since time immemorial. They can most often be spotted in their nests, which they build at the tops of telephone and electrical poles and on the roofs of houses. In their natural environment they build nests in trees and on rock shelves.

The White Stork  is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. Its plumage is mainly white, with black on its wings. Adults have long red legs and long pointed red beaks, and measure on average 110 from beak tip to end of tail, with a average 180 cm  wingspan.They feed in pastures, preferably freshly-mowed ones, and also frequently by drainage ditches and freshly ploughed fields. They feed on various animals, from small mammals and birds to reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.

Their nests are often quite large, some examples having been measured at over two metres in diameter. The White Stork is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa. They migrate along two paths: the eastern corridor goes through Turkey, the Near East and the Nile Valley to eastern and occasionally all the way to southern Africa, and the western one goes through Gibraltar to northern Africa. The White Stork has been rated as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

1 comment:

EddieEd said...

I am really thrilled at seeing these exiting and unique stamps. I have some of mine on my own website if you are into collecting!

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