Thursday, September 29, 2011

SWITZERLAND – Postcard from Zurich, Switzerland to Braga, Portugal

Postcard with Zurich airport cancellation over stamp of CHF 1,90 from the last definitive series ‘Domestic Birds’, posted on September, 26 2011
(A very special thanks to my wife Cristina)

Definitive stamps - Domestic Birds
Rock partridge  (CHF1,40 stamp)
Alectoris graeca

33 cm

Rock partridges are mainly vegetarian, preferring to eat various parts of plants, seeds, shoots and berries.

This species lives in the Alps, choosing warm, rocky south-facing slopes with dwarf shrubs, isolated trees, alpine meadows and boulder fields, generally above the tree line.

Migratory behaviour
Rock partridges are sedentary birds and spend the winter in Switzerland too, though deep snow cover compels them to move down to valley bottoms or up to high altitudes with patches that are clear of snow.

These birds nest on the ground, usually at the base of trees or rocks. The female hatches the eggs alone. The chicks can fly after 10 to 20 days and are fully grown at 50 to 60 days.

Nesting population
3,000 to 4,000 breed­ ing pairs. Rock partridge numbers can be expected to fall as more and more farming land in mountain regions is abandoned.

Red kite (CHF1,90 stamp)
Milvus milvus

61 cm

These birds scour the ground from the air for small mammals or carrion. They will also snatch freshly caught mice from carrion crows.

In the mid-20th century, red kites were mainly found in northern Switzerland, but now they also inhabit the fringes of the Alps, some alpine valleys and the area round Lake Geneva.  Migratory behaviour nowadays, red kites tend to stay in their territory all year round, whereas previously almost all of them migrated to the Iberian Peninsula for the winter.  Reproduction These birds build their eyries in trees and line them with wool, moss, hair, paper and rags. Clutches comprise two to three eggs. The young take 30 days to hatch and leave the nest after a further
50 to 55 days.

Nesting population
At present, there are 1,200 to 1,500 breeding pairs in Switzerland. Species numbers have made a strong recovery, thanks to their protection throughout most of Europe and an abundant supply of food.

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 1 April 2009
Values: stamps of CHF 1,40 and CHF 1,90
Designer: Eva Ch. Weber, Basel; Martine Chatagny Praz/Vylly
Printer: Joh. Enschedé
Process: 5-colour offset lithography
Size: stamps 33.0 mm x 38.0 mm (including label)
Perforation: Serpentine cut
Paper: White stamp paper, self-adhesive on backing paper 220g/m2
Sheet: sheets of 50 stamps

1 comment:

  1. This is a postcard only with flyers: birds and aeroplans...