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White Stork on new Swiss stamp

White Stork on new Swiss stamp
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Swiss Post issued a stamp dedicated to the white stork.

The white stork (Ciconiaciconia) is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. Its plumage is mainly white, with black on its wings. Adults have long red legs and long pointed red beaks, and measure on average 100–115 cm from beak tip to end of tail, with a 155–215 cm wingspan. The white stork is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to as far south as South Africa, or on the Indian subcontinent.

In 1949, Switzerland's white stork population disappeared, leaving a landscape totally devoid of bill clattering. Max Bloesch (1908-97), known as the "Father of the Storks", successfully reintroduced these long-legged birds to Altreu (Canton Solothurn). Today, some 300 breeding pairs circle the skies between the plain of the River Orbe and Canton St. Gallen's Rhine Valley.

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