British Owls - 11 May 2018
Royal Mail issued a set of 10 stamps depicting owls, five adult and five juveniles.
Stamp: 1st class Short-eared Owl juvenile Asio flammeus
Card: Lega Svizzera per la Protezione della Natura 1985
Postmark: First day of issue, Hooton
Short-eared Owl – Asio flammeus
A true nomad, the Short-eared Owl is one of the most widely distributed birds in the world, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Individuals may travel great distances, stopping to breed where feeding conditions are good. In Britain the species breeds mainly on upland moor in the north and west, but becomes more widespread in winter (and more numerous, as birds arrive from mainland Europe, sometimes in large numbers).
A diurnal owl of open moorland and rough grassland, it hunts on the wing, patrolling back and forth close to the ground, and dropping feet-first upon voles and other prey. In some winters, half a dozen or more may be seen working the same field, with coastal areas particularly likely to attract large numbers. The Short-eared Owl is a long-winged owl with grey-brown and sandy, heavily streaked plumage, paler than the similar Long-eared Owl, and with yellow, staring eyes and tiny ear tufts.