Stamps of the Marshall Islands
Topical Stamp Collecting: Birds, Wildlife
Owls are a favorite of wildlife enthusiasts and stamp collectors alike. Closely related to hawks, owls are nocturnal hunting birds. They are found throughout the world in a diverse range of habitats that include rainforests, grasslands, wooded areas and tundra. Perhaps their most distinguishing feature is their large forward-facing eyes. Owls have particularly large eyes to enable them to hunt in nearly complete darkness. By having their eyes face forward, owls have binocular vision which gives them excellent depth perception. This set of six stamps was issued by the Marshall Islands on November 5, 2008. It features the artwork of wildlife artist Michael Warren.
The Barn Owl (Tyto alba), also known as the Common Barn Owl, is not only the most widely distributed species of owl, but also one of the most widespread of all birds. Barn Owls are found throughout the world from North America and Europe, to Asia and the Pacific Islands. Barn Owls are known by various names in various places. Some of the names include Night Owl, White Owl, Demon Owl, Silver Owl, and Demon Owl.
The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is probably known best as the Hoot Owl. It is a large typical owl which favors the dense forests of North and Central America, and was a familiar sight to the Native Americans and early European settlers. Some other names include Wood Owl, Rain Owl, and Striped Owl.
The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) prefers open country, especially prairies. They nest in holes in the ground, often those abandoned by other burrowing animals. They are found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. With a wingspan of only about 21 inches, they are among the smallest owls. Unusual for owls, the Burrowing Own is frequently active during the day, although they do tend to hunt at night.
Great Horned Owl
The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is easily identified by the feather tufts on its head. These "plumicorns" give the birds a horned or catlike appearance and so they are sometimes called the Cat Owl. They nest in dense woodlands, caves and canyons. Great horned owls are adaptable birds and live from the Arctic to South America.
The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a large white owl also known in North America as the Arctic Owl or the Great White Owl. The Snowy Owl is the official bird of Quebec. The Snowy Owl is well-adapted for the freezing temperatures and rugged conditions north of the Arctic Circle with thick plumage and heavily heavily-feathered feet.
The Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis) is medium-sized owl with brown eyes and no ear-tufts. The mottled plumes of the Spotted Owl blend with the forest shadows, rendering it virtually invisible. They are slightly smaller than the closely-related and similar-appearing Barred Owl.
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