Review of the Birds on the Uruguay Lighthouses set issued in 1997

 


Main reference used: Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica - a Collins Illustrated Checklist (1998), by de la Peña and Rumboll.


Detail from stamp

Detail from Checklist

This black/blue and white hirundine looks superficially like the well-known House Martin with its white rump, but a closer look reveals a white line from above the bill to the eye. The White-rumped Swallow is a bird which occurs in Uruguay. Its description is as follows:- Above (except rump) black with blue sheen. Rump and underparts white. Variable white line from forehead to brow. 


 

Detail from stamp

Detail from Checklist

This dusky hirundine looks like a female Purple Martin but this species is not regular in Uruguay, and why would the designer choose a female? A close look at the hirundines in the Checklist reveals a very good match: Grey-breasted Martin which is described as bluish black above; throat and breast grey with whitish wash; rest of underparts whitish.


Detail from stamp

Detail from Checklist

This looks like a Great Black-back but with a black band on its white tail. The Checklist gives an excellent illustration of this which could have been "lifted" and shown on the stamp. Description: Yellow bill with red tip and black subterminal band right across. Yellow legs. Head, neck, underparts, rump and tail white, the tail with a broad black subterminal band. Back and wing coverts black, primaries black, secondaries grey with white tip.

 


Detail from stamp

Detail from Checklist

This looks like a White-rumped Sandpiper! Description: Non-breeding plumage: upper parts grey, slightly flecked brown. Rump and upper tail-coverts white. Eyebrow and belly white; breast pale grey flecked darker, flecking extending onto the flanks.

 


Detail from stamp

Detail from Checklist

Iím not too confident about this one, but the bird on the stamp fits very well with the Checklistís illustration of a non-breeding plumage Antarctic Tern in flight. Description: Bill and legs red. Top half of head black bordered below by a wide white band from the base of the bill to the neck. Back and wing-coverts blue-grey, rump and deeply forked tail white, outer vanes of tail feathers grey. Throat, breast and underparts grey, undertail-coverts white. Wings grey with the outer vanes of the outer primaries dark. Non-breeding plumage has a white fore-crown and forehead.

 


Chris Gibbins

Norwich, UK

12th September, 1998

 

 

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