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”.

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A collection of stampsI  once knew an eccentric philatelist who wanted something special: a collection of all the countries of the world, past and present, with a single postage stamp for each country. If the name of the country changed then that had to be taken into account, e.g. one stamp from Ceylon and therefore one from its successor Sri Lanka. It appears that such a collection is easy to obtain, but appearances can be misleading. After all, what is a country?

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