France: Rough-leg's Prey
Close up view of the stamp
4.40F Audubon stamp issued in 1995
Underwing of a Red-winged Blackbird
Underwing of a Red-winged Blackbird

Detailed view of prey
Detailed view of prey

It recently occurred to me that the Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) shown on the 1995 stamp from France is plucking its prey which might be identifiable. I searched for images of this Audubon painting on the web, but could not find any reference to the bird's prey. However, a correspondent in Canada, Gaétan Duquette, wrote to me recently with images of the wings of a Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). He gave me a link to a good illustration of the painting. where one distinctly sees the red marks on the underwing characteristic of the Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), the most common blackbird in North America. This bird is very widespread and a Rough-legged Hawk wintering in the United States could very easily take it as prey.

I shall update my site to show this bird's identity next month. I do not like showing a "French" bird eating a bird not likely to be found in France, but that's a problem caused by the criteria I have chosen for my collection.

The same image appears on a 1985 stamp from Burkina Faso.

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Added 18  January, 2004