By Wolfgang Beyer, BDPh (German Philatelic Federation)

The issue, made up of 4 stamps, illustrates record-keeping birds, also present in Romania’s fauna.

The White-Tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 2, is the biggest bird of prey in Europe, characteristic of the open regions of the sea coast and the freshwater lakes. In Romania, the species is endangered, being spread predominantly in the Danube region and the Danube Delta.

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The Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 5, is the biggest woodpecker in Europe, with dimensions close to those of a crow. In Romania, it is found in coniferous, broadleaf and mixed forests in the Carpathians, sometimes also in the plain forests, especially in Wallachia. It is a sedentary and monogamous bird for at least one nesting season. The length of the body is 40-46 cm and weighs 0.25-0.37 kg. The wingspan is about 67-73 cm.

On the stamp with the face value of Lei 8.50 is illustrated the biggest of the owls, the Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), a rapacious night-bird. The body length is 58-75 cm and it weighs 1.75-4.50 kg, the female and 1.50-3.20 kg, the male. It is an impressive bird, with wide wings, with the wingspan of about 138-200 cm. It has tussocks above the ears and has large, orange-red eyes. The plumage is yellow-brown and a white spot is visible on the neck.

The species, present on most of the European continent, in wooded areas where the cliffs are associated with forest clusters, especially conifers, is active at night or in twilight and does not have natural predators. It is sedentary, monogamous, sometimes life-long monogamous, and territorial.

On the stamp with the face value of Lei 12 is illustrated the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), the biggest bird as size in its family. It is called Dalmatian Pelican because it has curly and soft feathers on the nape and on the head. The bird has a length of up to 180 cm, measured from the tips of the tail to the end of the beak. Wings, with a span of 270-320 cm, are particularly strong and long, with gray tips, especially visible in flight. It weighs 11-13 kg.

Its body is very strong and heavy, with a long neck, a big head and a beak that can reach 40 cm in length, slightly rounded tail and yellow eyes. A feature of this species is the bag at the base of the beak, which dilates.

The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is considered to be one of the most important nesting areas of this magnificent bird. The most important nesting colonies of this species are in the protected area of Rosca Buhaiova, in the area of Lake Zatonul Mic and Zatonul Mare and Lake Sinoe, on a small island named Ceaplace.

The bird, protected and declared monument of nature, migrates in Autumn to the Centre of Africa.

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