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Owls as the most interesting species in the bird kingdom

Owls as the most interesting species in the bird kingdom
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StampNews.com is glad to inform that Czech Post has prepared for issuing a special miniature sheet depicting owls – one of the most interesting groups in the bird kingdom. Owls are symbol of wisdom and implement the spirit of the night.

The philatelic release with these gorgeous birds has been already designed and is to be put into circulation on the 2d of September.

The interest in owls is likely due to a hidden, mostly nocturnal way of their life. Previously they ranked among nocturnal birds of prey. Later they were classified as a separate order based on the anatomical structure of their body. The designation of "nocturnal birds of prey" was not exact, either, because a number of owls belong to daytime birds.

There are 13 original owl species in Europe, all of which are depicted in the miniature sheet. Of those, only one, the tawny owl, never appears in this country. Two of the depicted species rarely occur, but do not nest, in the Czech Republic. The other ten species belong to the local breeding species.

The adult little owl with chicks. It is about the size of a turtle dove. It was once a common species but its current numbers are declining due to unclear causes

The boreal owl, again with chicks. This seemingly similar species is larger than the little owl; unlike the little owl that bends forward while sitting, the boreal owl always sits straight up

Two owl species. The upper part of the stamp shows the flying snowy owl. This large tundra predator represents owls in the far north. When food, consisting mainly of lemmings or white rabbits, is scarce over the winter, it can also be found in this country. The lower part of the stamp shows the tawny owl sitting in front of a castle ruin. This is the commonest Czech owl species

The eagle owl. The size of 70 cm, weight up to 4.5 kg and a wingspan of almost 2 m make it the largest European owl and the largest owl in the world. In a documented case, it caught a fawn weighing 13 kg. It also hunts predators, such as buzzards, hawks, feral cats and foxes.

The other species are depicted in the four coupons and in the margins of the sheet. They include species such as the Eurasian scops owl, which is the Europe's rarest owl, or our smallest pygmy owl barely reaching the size of a sparrow.

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