SunbirdBalck-eared wheatear

  • Issue: February 1993
  • Designer: J. Smith
  • Stamp size: 20 x 25.7 mm
  • Sheet of 50 stamps Tabs: 10 (NIS 0.50)
    Sheet of 20 stamps Tabs: 4 (NIS 1.50)
  • 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 mans 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.

Palestine Sunbird - Nectarinia osea

This is a small bird, about 10 cm long and weighing only some 8 grams, that flies from flower to flower, sipping their nectar, which is the origin of its Latin name. The male bird has brilliant green and violet metallic colours. Although originally limited in its range, since the establishment of the State of Israel, and the spread of gardens, the Sunbird has become a common garder dweller all over the country. It breeds up to thrice yearly, mainly in spring, building its nests in sheltered places. It has even been known to nest on plants growing in flower pots in inhabited dwellings.

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Black-eared Wheatear - Qenanthe hispanica

The Black-eared Wheatear is a small, sandy coloured bird, one of the 11 different wheatear species found in Israel. It is a common summer visitor and passage migrant, which can be seen from Mt. Hermon in the north to the Beersheba Valley to the south.

The Black-eared Wheatear is about 14.5 centimetres long and weighs 15-22 grams, and can usually be seen standing conspicuously on a rock or on the ground in open landscapes. Its call is a loud 'chack' and it feeds on insects it gathers on the ground or in flight and nests in holes in the ground.

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Songbirds (II)