South Georgia: Petrels Stamps

\"\"South Georgia will release these 4 stamps on 10th Aug 2011.There are 125 species of tubenose birds, which include the petrels and albatrosses. The four species illustrated on this set of stamps represent three species of fulmarine petrel and one species of diving petrel. These birds inhabit an oceanic environment, feeding on the abundant food supply present in the Southern Ocean. They nest and breed on many islands in the Southern Ocean, including South Georgia, the three species of fulmarine petrel also breed on the South Sandwich Islands.

60p – The southern giant petrel Macronectes giganteus along with the northern giant petrelMacronectes halli is the largest of the fulmarine petrels. It is an exceedingly powerful and aggressive bird, but none the less beautiful. 70p – The snow petrel Pagodroma nivea is perhaps one of the most beautiful Antarctic birds. Called ‘the fairy of the south’ by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, they can frequently be seen associated with icebergs and pack-ice.95p –  These birds feed on crustaceans, particularly krill, sometimes brought to the surface by the movement of the ship and one can always get stunning views as they glide back and forth in the wake occasionally dropping down to feed. Also known as the pintado petrel, they have a beautiful chequered feather pattern on their upperparts as depicted here.£1.15p – South Georgia diving petrels Pelecanoides georgicus are small birds and are always difficult to observe well at sea. With perseverance however, positioned on the bow of a ship one may eventually get some reasonable fleeting glimpses. They fly very fast and will suddenly disappear into a wave never to be seen again.

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