Little owls are part of the Strigidae family, that includes about 130 species of birds spread almost worldwide. It has various adaptations and unlike birds of prey, the birds in the Strigiformes order do not have goitre, their plumage is soft and puffed, which allows them to have a silent flight. The neck is short, the head is voluminous, the eyes are large, with frontal orientation and surrounded by a radially arranged disc of feathers, the so-called “facial disc”. The beak is relatively short, much curved, buried at the root in modified, rough feathers, called vibrissae. They can rotate their head 180°.
On the stamp with the face value of Lei 1.90 is illustrated Glaucidium passerinum (Linnaeus, 1758) – Eurasian Pygmy-owl, which belongs to the Strigidae family, being the smallest species of this family, only the size of a starling. The plumage is brownish, with fine white spots and stripes. The eyebrow is white and short. Preferred habitats are represented by spruce forests in mountainous areas, not necessarily dense, but also by mixed forests. It nests in hollows and, especially, in nests left by woodpeckers.
Athene noctua (Scopoli, 1769) – Little Owl is represented on the stamp with the face value of Lei 3.30. It is one of the most common species of nocturnal birds of prey, also found in Romania, especially near human settlements, but also quite frequently in natural habitats.
It is widespread in central and southern Europe, where it occupies areas with forests, muddy banks where it can find shelter, rocks with open areas in the vicinity etc.
On the stamp with the face value of Lei 5 is reproduced Athene cunicularia (Molina, 1782) – Burrowing Owl. The long-legged owl, or burrowing owl, is a common species, widespread in the open regions of North America to South America.
The burrowing owl has longer legs than other owl species and is adapted to terrestrial life in the North American prairie and South American pampas. It feeds on invertebrates, mice, rats, birds, frogs, lizards, snakes etc.
They are monogamous birds and nest in colonies. The breeding habitat is represented by open pastures such as prairies, but they also adapt well to man-made areas such as airports, golf courses, agricultural lands, parks, farms, etc.
Ninox theomacha (Bonaparte, 1855) – Jungle Boobook is illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 19. It is a species of owl that lives in the forests of the island of New Guinea, where it is found up to altitudes of about 1,500 m. It is a medium-sized owl, reddish brown, with ochre on the head, chin and lower body and like most of its sisters, it has a dark grey facial disc with lighter coloured eyebrows.
Romfilatelia thanks the “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History from Bucharest for the documentary support granted to the achievement of this postage stamps issue.
The philatelic folder is created into a limited edition of 203 pieces and is equipped with the block of the issue (containing four partially perforated stamps, with graphics in silver foiling), as well the First Day Cover with the “first day” postmark clearly imprinted, with gold foiling. Each element is numbered from 001 to 203.
The postage stamps issue Little owls will be available on Wednesday, August 12th 2020, in Romfilatelia’s shops network in Bucharest, Bacau, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Timisoara and online on http://romfilatelia.ro/store/. The postage stamps issue is completed by the First Day Cover, in sheet of 28 stamps, minisheet of 5 stamps + 1 label and block of 4 partially perforated stamps.