Jersey News, 1 April 2010 – The birds whose melodious songs make a woodland walk an enjoyable pursuit feature on a new stamp issue from Jersey Post.
Woodland Birds is the latest instalment in the Jersey Birdlife series. To maintain the continuity of the series – which has also featured garden, migrating and songbirds – Jersey Post commissioned local wildlife artist Nick Parlett to paint his 19th stamp issue. The Island’s ornithology expert and President for the National Trust for Jersey, Mike Stentiford, lent his experience to Jersey Post’s researchers Susanne Lowman and Melanie Gouzinis to assist in their selection of species.
Mrs Lowman said wherever possible, experts – in particular Islanders – are consulted in the initial stages of the research and, as with this issue, are sometimes kind enough to pen a few words to accompany the stamps.
Mr Stentiford said: ‘’Woodlands are quite magical places to explore and enjoy although they sometimes give the impression that wildlife is at a premium. Proving otherwise, of course, are woodland birds that, despite their often dull plumage and general shyness, nevertheless add further enjoyment to any woodland walk. What a delight it is that some of these woodland treasures have been captured so beautifully by Nick Parlett on this latest stamp issue by Jersey Post.’
Following the same format as the previous sets in the series, there are six stamps, a Souvenir Miniature Sheet (containing three of the stamps), Souvenir Sheetlet (containing one of each of the six stamps) along with the respective First Day Cover envelopes and Presentation Packs.
Bird song is essentially territorial in that it communicates the identity and whereabouts of an individual to other birds and also signals sexual intentions, so it is not just entertaining woodland walkers! It is not to be confused with bird calls, which are used for alarms and contact, and are especially important in birds that feed or migrate in flocks.
Other birds have songs to attract mates or hold territory, but these are usually simple and repetitive. The monotonous repetition of the common cuckoo or little crake can be contrasted with the variety of a nightingale or marsh warbler.
Although many songbirds have songs which are pleasant to the human ear, this is not invariably the case. Many members of the crow family make croaks or screeches which sound harsh to the human ear.