Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Loons and Grebes

As usual Aland Post has lived up to its mark of issuing lovely stamps and covers. This time it was on 5th April 2013 (interestingly that was my birthday too :-)).

The four stamp motifs included in this year’s booklet were painted by Swedish artist Bo Lundwall. Since 1989, he has devoted all his time to zoological painting, and he has had many commissions from businesses, private individuals and galleries. Bo has published many books and designed two stamp series for the Swedish Post. His list of exhibitions includes exhibitions in the Nordic countries as well in the USA, and his paintings have been sold in Christie’s Wildlife Art auction in London.

The Black-throated Loon is 60 to 70 cm in length with a 110 to 130 cm wingspan. It is easily distinguished by a grey head and a chequered black- and-white mantle. 
The Red-throated Loon is 50 to 70 cm in length with a 105 to 115 cm wingspan. Its bill is thin and often held pointing slightly upwards. The adult bird has a dark grey head and an all-dark grey-brown mantle. 
The Great Crested Grebe is 45 to 50 cm in length with a 85 to 90 cm wingspan. These birds are easily distinguished from other water birds by their elaborate black and reddish brown wide cheek tufts. 
The Horned Grebe is 30 to 40 cm in length with a 60 to 65 cm wingspan. It is unmistakable with its distinctive bright orange earlike tufts, black cheeks and red neck.

This is the third time Åland Post issued WWF stamps (World Wildlife Fund). Two WWF booklets have been issued previously, one presenting Eagle Owls in 1996 and another featuring Steller’s Eiders in 2001. Issued since 1982, WWF stamps form the largest thematic stamp collection in the world. WWF stamps always feature endangered species. Part of the stamp issue is sold in the form of thematic packs, and part of the profit is donated to WWF to assist them in preserving endangered species. 

Thank you Dear Ella for this wonderful FDC.

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