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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fauna & Flora-Birds of Prey

Irish post issued four stamps featuring Ireland’s birds of prey (raptors) as part of the Fauna and Flora series. The species depicted on the stamps are the Buzzard, the Golden Eagle, the Peregrine Falcon and the Merlin.

The Buzzard Buteo buteo is a medium sized raptor, with broad wings, compact body, short neck and medium length tail. Once effectively extinct in Ireland, buzzards have been making a comeback recolonising the country.

The Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos is a large, powerful raptor, extremely swift and can dive upon their quarry at speeds of approximately 240km per hour. Having become extinct in Ireland in the early 20th century, the Golden Eagle Trust began the process of reintroducing these birds in Glenveagh National
Park, County Donegal in 2001.

The Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus is a powerful, stocky, heavy-chested falcon with broad pointed wings. One of the fastest species in the world, it can reach speeds of 320km per hour or more, when diving in pursuit of prey. It is one of the world’s most widely distributed birds found on every continent except Antarctica.

The Merlin Falco columbarius is a small falcon with a relatively long, square cut tail and broad based pointed wings. It is nimble in flight and will pursue its prey for extended periods. It is a rare breeding bird in Ireland with approximately 130 breeding pairs found here.

Title: Fauna & Flora-Birds of Prey
Date of Issue: 29 July 2010
Country: Iteland
Denominations: 55c x 2, 82c, 95c