Sunday, October 9, 2011


This pretty miniature sheet of nature stamps was issued by Belarus on 15.4.2005, and the stamps shown depict a bird, animals and a moth species native to Belarus. I suggest you click the picture for a better view.
Greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga). A medium-sized eagle, the greater spotted eagle only has white spots as a juvenile, when they extend in bands across the upperwing. By adulthood, the spots have faded leaving dark brown feathers across the head, body and wings, with slightly paler flight feathers on the upper side. In gliding flight, the greater spotted eagle holds the feathers at the tips of the wings downward. Although mainly a quiet bird, this eagle has a barking ‘kyak’ call during the breeding season. Aquila clanga occupies a fragmented range, breeding in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, mainland China and Mongolia. Passage or wintering birds occur in small numbers over a vast area, including central and eastern Europe, north and east Africa, the Middle East, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and south and South-East Asia. Wintering birds have also been reported in Hong Kong (China). The population probably numbers fewer than 10,000 mature individuals with Russia holding 2,800-3,000 pairs. The European population is probably no more than 900 pairs (with c.170 pairs in Belarus). Numbers appear to have declined in the western half of its range and in some parts of its Asian range.
The Dark Crimson Underwing (Catocala sponsa) is a species of moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found in Europe, North Africa and from Anatolia up to the Caucasus. The wingspan is 60–70 millimetres (2.4–2.8 in). The moth flies from July to September depending on the location. The larvae feed on oak.
The beaver (genus Castor) is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) (native to North America) and Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber) (Eurasia). Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges (homes). They are the second-largest rodent in the world (after the capybara). Their colonies create one or more dams to provide still, deep water to protect against predators, and to float food and building material. The North American beaver population was once more than 60 million, but as of 1988 was 6–12 million. This population decline is due to extensive hunting for fur, for glands used as medicine and perfume, and because their harvesting of trees and flooding of waterways may interfere with other land uses.
The European Badger (Meles meles) is a species of badger of the genus Meles, native to almost all of Europe. It is classed as Least Concern for extinction by the IUCN, due to its wide distribution and large population. The European badger is a social burrowing animal which lives on a wide variety of plant and animal food. It is very fussy over the cleanliness of its burrow, and defecates in latrines. Cases are known of European badgers burying their dead family members. Although ferocious when provoked, a trait which was once exploited for the blood sport of badger-baiting, the European badger is generally a peaceful animal, having been known to share its burrows with other species such as rabbits, red foxes and raccoon dogs. Although it does not usually prey on domestic stock, the species is nonetheless alleged to damage livestock through spreading bovine tuberculosis.

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