The subject for 2019’s Europa stamps is National Birds. Spain has a bearded vulture on its 2019 six-stamp Premium Sheet.
The bird is adapted to live in the harsh high landscape of the Pyrenean mountain range from Navarre to Catalonia.
Its anatomy is unmistakable. This huge bird can reach wingspans of up to 2.80 metres. Its Spanish name, “quebrantahuesos” (bone-breaker) comes from its way of feeding. Among other things it feeds on bones which it drops from a height onto rocks to crack them into smaller pieces. It does this in areas known in Spanish as “rompederos”.
Bulgaria’s stamp sheet above has a Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) with its prey and a Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia), a colourful woodland bird.
From Estonia (above) we have the Barn Swallow (Hirundo Rustica), the most widespread species of swallow in the world.
The example from Germany has the Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella). The yellowhammer is common in open areas with some shrubs or trees, and forms small flocks in winter. The song is very similar to that of its closest relative, the pine bunting, with which it interbreeds.
The two stamps of the Romanian postage stamps issue illustrate the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and the Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis).
The white-throated dipper features on Norway’s issue. The bird is special in that it nests behind waterfalls, and it can dive and swim short distances under water. Its wings make a special whirring sound when it flies that distinguishes it from other birds. This stamp is one of many Europa National Birds stamps that have an additional feature as they can be scanned with a smartphone using the free Cee-App to hear the sounds of the birds.
Ciconia ciconia, the White Stork is illustrated on the two stamps from Lithuania, which is thought to have the highest known density of this species in the world. Moldavia and Russia also feature the white stork on their 2019 Europa issues.
As birds by their very nature are migratory and representative of countries all around the world, six species which can be sighted in Jersey feature on the stamps above, together with the traditional symbolic meaning with which they are associated. The birds and what they represent are, top left to right: The Kestrel (Vision and patience), Swallow (Hope and renewal), Swan (Purity and love). And bottom left to right: Peacock (Glory and dignity), Kingfisher (Peace and calm) andStork (New beginnings and commitment). If the swan and kingfisher stamps are scanned with a mobile phone, using the free CEE-App, you will be able to hear the bird sounds.
Kosovo has this nice stamp sheet depicting a Great Tit (Parus major) , a Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) and a Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis).