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Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania
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New Postage Stamps With Protected Species


The Lithuanian Post issued two stamps dedicated to the Lithuanian Red Book, which shows the barn owl and the pygmy owl. These postage stamps were issued in 80,000 copies, they are in circulation, and they can be used to send letters and packages. The stamp artist is painter I. Balakauskaitė.

The following information was announced at the postage stamp presentation:

The barn owl (Tyto alba) is one of the most mysterious Lithuanian birds shrouded in various legends and myths. It is a very rare bird and it is included in the Lithuanian Red Book.

Barn owl's upper half of the body is yellowish, finely speckled, and the bottom half is the carrot colour, mottled. The owl has light-coloured, heart-shaped cheeks, swaying movements, and the face of the bird looks more like a grinning animal or a bird. Barn owls like to stay in pastures, uncut grass fields, in hilly terrain, where there is a large rodent population.

During breeding season, they stay in homesteads, old buildings, towers. They feed on mice, voles, shrews, crickets. Sometimes owls settle in together with pigeons bred by people. Barn owls' enemy in the wild are stone martens, which visit abandoned buildings and destroy the eggs or fledglings that they find.

The pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum) is very rare and is included in the Lithuanian Red Book. It weighs about 70 grams and is the smallest of the owls found in Lithuania. Its dorsal side is brownish gray. There are white dots on the back and the head.

Pygmy owls are a sedentary living birds. Mostly found in coniferous forests. They choose nesting sites in trees, artificially created cavities : woodpecker hollows, starlings nesting boxes, tree hollows. The greatest threat to the pygmy owl population poses intense forestry activities, sanitary cuttings, because of which the number of mature trees is decreasing.

Public Information Division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas