WallcreeperTristram's grackleWhite wagtailBarn swallow Huberman

  • Issue: December 1992
  • Designer: J. Smith
  • Stamp size: 20 x 25.7 mm
  • Sheet of 50 stamps Tabs: 10
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

From days of old, birds have aroused man's curiosity. Their vivid colours, joyful singing, and above all, their ability to fly, have excited man's imagination.

Israel is unique for its large variety of habitats, as well as being located along one of the principal global bird migration routes. As a result, more than 500 different avian species may be found in Israel.

The Israel Ornithology Center, the Israel Raptor Information Center and the Israel Bird Ringing Center, which are part of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, organize the greater part of ornithological activities in Israel. These activities concentrate on three main fields: nature conservation, research and education.

Over the years, as a result of intensified education in nature conservation and the increase in the number of active birdwatchers, the number of bird species seen in Israel has been rising constantly. The birds appearing on this series of stamps belong to the Passeriformes, or as they are commonly called - songbirds. This group includes over 5,000 species, of which 192 may be found in Israel.

Wallcreeper - Tichodroma muraria

This species is uniquely coloured in its family, easily recognized ~ by the bold red markings on its wings. It is about 16 cm long and weighs about 18 grams. The Wallcreeper is a rare winter visitor to Israel, and may be seen in wadis and cliffs in northern Israel and in the Judean Desert. Its strong feet and claws enable to cling to cliffs and walls, while feeding on insects it pulls out of the crevices.

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Tristram's Grackle - Onycognathus tristramli

This is a black bird, with orange wing patches. It is about 25-30cm long, and named after Canon Tristram, who visited Israel during the middle of the last century. It feeds on fruit, insects and picnickers' leftovers. Tristram's Grackle may be found around Em Gedi, Arad and Dimona in southern Israel. It is a social bird, living in small groups and forming flocks of hundreds in the winter, Its pleasant calls break the stillness of the desert wadis where it nests in rock crevices and caves.

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White Wagtail - Motacilla alba

One of the best known species in Israel in autumn and winter, with its characteristic walk: a fast run with sudden pauses while bobbing its tail. The White Wagtail has striking black, white and grey colouring, is 17 cm long and weighs about 25 grams. It heralds the autumn, when it comes from the north to spend the winter in Israel. Several pairs have been found breeding in the country. It feeds mainly on insects, and in the evening Wagtails form large flocks and roost in trees together, both in the city and the country. They can be heard from afar, as they arrange themselves in the branches for the night.

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Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica

This species is easily recognised by its forked tail, blue-black colouring and rusty breast and forehead, It is 15-20 cm long, and weighs about 13-20 grams. In Israel it is both resident and migrant, feeding on insects it catches on the wing. Barn Swallows can be seen in spectacular flights over pools as they dip to the water surface to drink. They nest in colonies at the beginning of March and. when the breeding season is over, form flocks of thousands which roost together nightly.

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Song birds (I)