Six noble avian predators native to the Isle of Man
This collection presents six noble avian predators which can be seen by the eagle-eyed in the skies around our Island.
Award winning wildlife artist Jeremy Paul is currently exhibiting some of his magnificent paintings at
Studio 42 in Port St Mary (Waverley House, Bay View Road, Port St. Mary, Isle of Man)
Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present this selection of six noble avian predators which can be seen by the eagle-eyed in the skies around our Island. Once again, we have brought renowned wildlife artist Jeremy Paul together with noted ornithologist Chris Sharpe MBE to bring these wonderful creatures alive on our stamps.
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
A hovering Kestrel is a joy to watch, constant tiny movements of the wings and tail, adjusting to slight changes in the wind, allowing the head to remain almost motionless as it searches for prey below. Males, as illustrated, are distinctive, their blue-grey head, rump and tail contrasting sharply with a deep chestnut back and upper wings. Widely distributed on the Island throughout the year, the Kestrel is also a partial migrant, some birds moving from and through the Island during August to September.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Appearing on the Manx coat of arms, the Peregrine Falcon has a long association with the Island. In 1405, King Henry IV gave the Isle of Man to Sir John Stanley, conditional upon two falcons being given to him and every future King upon their coronation, a tradition that continued until 1821. Nowadays, the Peregrine, in common with all our birds of prey, is protected by law with an estimated annual breeding population of in excess of 25 pairs.
Buzzard Buteo buteo
After a presumed long absence from the Island, breeding was confirmed in 2010, though since then numbers of breeding pairs have increased significantly and they are now a common sight over much of the Island. It is our largest bird of prey, most often seen soaring on broad wings, the high pitched ‘mewing’ call often being the first thing to draw your attention. It may also be seen sitting motionless on a post or in a field, waiting to spot movement of beetles, part of its varied diet.
Merlin Falco columbarius
The Merlin seldom breeds on the Island, rarely being seen in summer. Sightings markedly increase in autumn when migrants, mainly from Iceland, arrive for the winter. This is the smallest of our falcons, the males being not much larger than a Blackbird Turdus merula. Despite its diminutive stature it is a fearless predator, not averse to tackling prey larger than itself. Watching one hunt a constantly ‘jinking’ small wader over the coast provokes an ever-changing desire over who should be the victor.
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Our most common and widespread bird of prey, its diet consists of birds and its hunting strategy is to fly low and fast along a hedge before diving through a gap to take advantage of the element of surprise. When targeting ‘our’ garden birds this does not always make it popular; it is however all part of the wider balance of nature. One cannot help but to admire their ability, the large females more than capable of taking a Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus.
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
A male Hen Harrier quartering low over a heather moor in search of food is one of the most evocative sights of our uplands, the blue-grey plumage contrasting sharply with the muted tones of the hills. The adult male plumage contrasts also with that of the female, which in common with young birds has an overall brown plumage with a distinctive white rump. Hen Harrier first bred on the Island in 1977, the census of 2022 finding 38-42 territories, suggesting a stable population.
Visit jeremypaulwildlifeartist.co.uk for further work by this renowned Isle of Man artist.
|Chris Sharpe MBE
|Gummed FSC Securpost 110 GPW
|11.5 per 2cm
|Sheets of 20
|Date of Issue:
|1st September 2023
|Presentation Pack: 1100 / First Day Cover: 1500
Product Code: ACL25
Product Issue Date: 17th August 2023
This wonderful range of products shows prints of the paintings used on the stamp completed with the respective postage stamp underneath the print, signed by artist Jeremy Paul.
Product Code: ACL31
Product Issue Date: 1st September 2023
Painted by renowned wildlife artist Jeremy Paul six beautiful stamps feature intricate details of birds of prey that are native to our Island.
Product Code: ACL41
Product Issue Date: 1st August 2023
Presented within a glossy four page folder, all six stamps of this collection are housed on a black mount to beautifully present each design.
Product Code: ACL91
Product Issue Date: 1st September 2023
The limited edition 'Birds of Prey by Jeremy Paul' First Day Cover features all six elaborate designs affixed to the front and cancelled with a special postmark.