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SINGING BIRDS

Romfilatelia introduces into circulation on Friday, October 28th, this year, a new postage stamps issue dedicated to nature enthusiasts, ornithologists and philatelists, generically called Singing Birds. Being appreciated all over the world for the “music” they reproduce, many such species also delight with their colours.

The issue, consisting of four stamps and a First Day Cover, is completed by a set of four maxicards, for the passionates, of maximaphily.

Common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos), illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 3, valued throughout time for its melodious voice, it has always been regarded as the symbolic bird of romance, a source of inspiration for poets and musicians.

It has a rather large waist, with a relatively long tail. In all types of plumage, the dorsal part has a uniform brown colour, brown-reddish tail; the ventral part is white-cream, with a faded brownish band on the chest, a generally toneless and monotonous plumage, which makes it difficult to see. The popular name of the genus Luscinia is Latin for “nightingale” and derives from “(to watch at) night” (= to stay awake, not to sleep) and comes from the fact that this bird sings at night. The common nightingale is a small bird, 16-17 cm long and 16-39 g in weight.

Common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), depicted on the stamp with the face value of Lei 6.50, it is a species with marked sexual dimorphism, in which the male is brightly coloured, with a grey head, brownish cheeks, neck and back, a reddish chest, a black tail with a greenish tail base, and black wings with two white bands towards the top, while the female is predominantly greenish, the wings being the same as those of the male. The body length is 14-16 cm, and the wingspan is 25-29 cm, with a body mass of 18-29 g. It is a species with a wide distribution, found from the meadows and plain forests to the hills and mountain heights, reaching over 1,500 meters altitude, being a bird often bred in captivity. In Romania, the chaffinch is a partially migratory, nesting species; females and young birds arrive from migration in late March – early April, while males often winter in the country.

European robin (Erithacus rubecula), reproduced on the stamp with the face value of Lei 10, it is a small-sized singing bird species. It is easily recognized by the orange face and chest, with grey demarcation lines. These contrast with the white abdomen and the olive-brownish upperparts, as well as the wings and tail. The adult European robin is 12-14 cm long and weighs 15-22 g. The wingspan is 20-22 cm. It prefers wooded areas, gardens, parks or woodsides, generally areas alternating between thickets and open fields.

The species has a wide distribution, spreading from Europe to Siberia, northern Africa and Turkey. Birds from the north and east of the continent migrate to the south-west in winter. The wintering area extends from Great Britain to Spain and Morocco, as well as south-east Europe. In Romania, the European robin is common throughout the country, from the plains to highlands, occupying a wide variety of habitats. It is a partially migratory species.

Eurasian golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus), illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 10.50, it is a migratory singing bird that nests in lowland forests, mountain river valleys, in plantations, orchards and forest plantations. It has a length of 21-24 cm. The male has a bright yellow plumage with black on the wings and tail. The female and the young males have a greenish dorsal part, and the ventral part is yellowish-white with grey stripes. The male has a black band near the eyes that is not found in the female. The body length is 22-25 cm, the wingspan is 35 cm and the weight is 50-60 g. It is a shy bird, always hidden, and it migrates at night.

Romfilatelia thanks the representatives of the “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History in Bucharest for the documentary support provided to the development this postage stamps issue.

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