Bubo Owl on China stamp issued in 1995


Bubo stamp
Detail of Bubo sp
Bubo virginianus
China stamp issued in 1995
Detail view of the owl
 Image of a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) from "Birds of North America" (Bruun and Singer 1966)

I have always assumed that this stamp shows an Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), because all the stamps in the set show native species. However, a correspondent in Canada, Gaétan Duquette, wrote to me some months ago to say that he was certain that the stamp actually shows a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). He described the features in the following paragraph.

"Now that I have the stamp before my eyes, I am convinced more and more that original photography is that of a Great Horned Owl. The eyes are yellow (and not orange), the throat is immaculate white, the ear tufts are relatively short and distant and the facial disc is clearly bordered by black. The facial disc is rather pale for a Great Horned Owl but as all the brown colours of original photography were replaced by the bluish colour on the stamp, one cannot really consider this criterion. On the other hand, the color of the eyes was perhaps also changed."


Update: 9 May 2016 Despite the persuasive argument and without any further evidence, I now realise that it is very unlikely that China Post would make this mistake, and have changed my listing back to B. bubo.

Does anyone have further comments about this owl?

Added 26th  December, 1999
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