Sunday, September 29, 2013

birds of prey

This weekend is the big stamp show and sale in Toronto. I had been looking forward to it since, well, since last year. But, seeing as I still haven't organized the many hundreds of stamps I already have into the books I bought for them (most of them are still in little boxes and envelopes) I decided to not overwhelm myself further. The temptation was strong though and only tempered by the annual postcard show and sale being held today.

Also, I was afraid that I might end up buying more of the same stamps I already have (as I've already done). One of the topical stamps I collect is birds, but of all the birds out there perhaps my least favourite are the birds of prey.  We have a pair of peregrine falcons who return to nest each year on a ledge at a downtown hotel and I am among the hundreds of people who eagerly watch the webcam and follow the progress of the eggs and eventually chicks as they grow and learn how to fly and catch their own food before finally fledging out on their own. While I greatly admire their skills, there is something about their inherent aggressiveness that is not so attractive. And they are scary looking. I guess I just like the crafty, colourful, cartoonish looking birds best.

This 2013 set of falcoaria stamps for the Portuguese Association of Falconry are gems. They illustrate not only the birds standing on an outstretched (and seriously gloved) hand as well as in flight, but also some of the equipment used in the art of falconry

Clockwise, we have a Peregrine Falcon and a hood, followed by a Goshawk and a haversack, then a Golden Eagle and a falconry glove, and finally, a Hawk with a roster. 

this is a Stellar's sea eagle from China. these birds feed mainly on fish, favouring salmon and trout.

below is a kestrel, one from The Netherlands issued 1995 and the other from Viet Nam, issued 1982.

they have an unnerving ability to hover in the air

...and speaking of flying (sortof) have you seen this video?

for Sunday Stamps


  1. The big birds of prey fascinate me...their steely determination, sharp eyes, sharper talons....amazing birds.

  2. A wonderful selection, so many different stamps this week.

  3. We see the kestrel a lot hovering over UK's motorwy verges.. All birds of prey are amazing especially the osprey.

  4. I hadn't seen that video before, admire these birds, though they are frightening close up. Thank you for joining in.

  5. I prefer seeing the pretty birds on stamps.

  6. i really like the first portuguese set which shows different aspects of falconry, generally i also admire these birds though sometimes i wish they only ate fruits..!

  7. I like the kestrels, specially because you wrote about their ability! :)

  8. You're funny! I'd say a hoot, but that's a bad pun.
    I've often bought another copy of a book. I feel so silly. Hubby and I promise each other it's another story we won;t tell the kids!

  9. And I feel the opposite, love the birds of prey. Their skill is so amazing and imagine what it would be like to have their eyesight! The different ways they've evolved to be masters at survival is just amazing and I think hawks in particular are very handsome.

  10. raptors of any kind are fascinating. :)


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