Monday, November 12, 2012

Birds of Latvia - 2012


Following to the previous issues of Birds of Latvia series, Latvia Post issued two stamps with pictures of traditional Latvian birds:  the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) and the Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis).

The denomination of Barn Swallow is LVL 0.35 and  the denomination of Goldfinch is LVL 0.98. The stamps have been designed by artist Ģirts Grīva.
The Barn Swallow is the most widespread species of swallow. It is a bird of open country and builds nests in closed, man-made structures protected from precipitation and wind. 

The Barn Swallow is renowned for its skill of catching insects in flight. To many nations, the Barn Swallow is a symbol of hope, luck, and the coming of spring; Latvian beliefs about swallows relate to the weather, money and happiness.

The release of the stamps is accompanied by two first-day covers and two special cancellations. The covers are adorned by pictures of the barn swallow and the goldfinch in their natural environment, while the cancellation depicts each bird in graphical form.

The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. It is a distinctive passerine bird with blue upperparts, a long, deeply forked tail and curved, pointed wings. It is found in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

The Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is one of the most beautiful birds found in Latvia. The Goldfinch nests and winters in Latvia, as well as migrating through it. It prefers the edges of forests, birch groves, parks and orchards. 

The goldfinch's preferred food is small seeds, such as those from thistles, from which the little bird's Latvian name is derived.


The European Goldfinch or Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), is a small passerine bird in the finch family.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.

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