Iran 300R Definitive Issued in 2000
Enlarged view of the 300R stamp


View of the bird with the tailed moved
View of the bird with the tailed moved
Red-backed Shrike
Red-backed Shrike
Penduline Tit
Penduline Tit

Iran has produced an interesting series of stamps showing birds since 1994, all of which may be seen on Kjell Scharning's page and there are two more which we hope to see soon, issued for Belgica 2001. (Beware, this page attempts to find a file on a floppy disc!).

Some have shown birds which are easy to identify like the Hoopoe and Bee-eaters, but others present a few problems. The latest 3000R definitive is particularly difficult.

The choice of species shown on some of the stamps is refreshing, so when I read a Red-backed Shrike was featured on one, I was looking forward to seeing it. When it arrived, I was disappointed because the bill was wrong. In my early birding days, early 70s, I encountered my first Penduline Tits around Neusiedl, Eastern Austria. They reminded me of the plumage of a Red-backed Shrike, though of course their actions were vastly different.

Now we have this strange bird, listed in various places as a Red-backed Shrike, but with the head of a Penduline Tit! Has the artist been confused? For me, the tail looks as if it has been repositioned to fit with the design of the stamp. What appears to be the tip of the left wing is in front of the tail, which is unnatural. The wings are rather long for a Penduline Tit, but given the predominance of the head pattern, with black above the tit-like bill, I prefer to think of this bird as a Penduline Tit.

If anyone would like to comment on this proposal, please email me.

I included a voting booth on the page and it worked for about 4 weeks, but then the server hosting it became unreachable. During the time it was active, 13 votes were cast, with 12 in favour of Penduline Tit, 0 for Red-backed Shrike, and 1 undecided.

Booth removed
8 August, 2001
Added 26 June, 2001