Royal Mail features migratory birds in 7 April issue of 10 stamps

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By David Hartwig

Ten new UK stamps feature 10 different birds that migrate to the UK each year. Royal Mail issued the stamps on April 7.

The 10 stamps are undenominated, valued at the first class rate (currently 95 pence). The stamps are presented in two se-tenant (side-by-side) bands of five.

Nightjar, Pied Flycatcher, Swift, Yellow Wagtail and Arctic Skua are depicted on one strip, and Stony Curlew, Arctic Tern, Swallow, Turtle Dove and Montagu’s Harrier on the other.

“The stamps showcase the diversity of migratory birds arriving in the UK; from seabirds that migrate along the UK coastline, such as the arctic skua and arctic tern, to the exceptionally rare bird of prey, the Montagu’s Harrier,” the Royal Mail said in a press release.

Royal Mail defines bird migration as “the annual and seasonal movement of birds along pre-determined routes, known as flyways, between their breeding and non-breeding grounds”.

Each stamp features an image of one or more birds in flight, perched or standing on the ground. The common and scientific names of the specific bird pictured are shown in the right or left border of the stamp.

“The migratory journeys of the birds featured on these stamps are truly amazing,” said David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail. “Their annual voyages have fascinated and baffled naturalists for centuries. Only now are we beginning to understand what drives and sustains this amazing, high-risk, high-reward behavior. We hope these stamps will spark new interest in this remarkable phenomenon. »

Irish ornithologist Killian Mullarney created the stamp illustrations. One of Europe’s best-known bird artists, Mullarney provided artwork for several Irish stamps, including the 2004 set of four Duck stamps (Scott 1545-1548) and the 2019 issue of two Europa stamps (2226 -2227). the Collins Bird Guide also presented his work.

In its press release, Royal Mail provided information about the birds and their migration habits.

The stamps were designed by Hat-trick Design. International Security Printers printed them by lithography in sheets of 50 (also available in sheets of 25). The stamps measure 41 millimeters by 30 mm and have perforations of 14.5 by 14.

Related Royal Mail products include first day covers and a set of eight postcards showing enlarged images of the stamps. Royal Mail also offers a presentation pack containing the stamps; text by Richard Gregory, professor of conservation science at University College London, explores the reasons for bird migration.

Stamps and related materials can be ordered online from Royal Mail. Ordering information is also available from Royal Mail, Tallents House, 21 S. Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB, Scotland.

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