National Bird "Maya" of the Philippines issued 1994


SG 2645
Detail of SG 2645
Lonchura malacca
SG 2645
CBoS lists this as Philippine Trogon (Harpactes ardens)
 Image of Chestnut Mannikin (Lonchura malacca) from "Birds of the Philippines" (Gonzales & Rees1988).
 Lonchura punctulata Lonchura leucogaster 
Image of Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata) from "Birds of the Philippines" (Gonzales & Rees1988).
Image of White-bellied Mannikin (Lonchura leucogastra) from "Finches & Sparrows" (Clement, 1993).
Married to a Filipina, I've visited the Philippines many times and was surprised to be told that the abundant Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) were "maya: the Philippine National Bird".  I thought it rather curious that an introduced species should be given that elevated position.  However, while bird-watching with my brother-in-law near some rice paddies, we saw a large flock of what he described as "maya".  These were obviously not Tree Sparrows but one of the Lonchura sp. too distant to be sure which.  In subsequent visits I saw three different species: L. malacca, L. punctulata and L. leucogastra.  Of these three, the first seems to be the most common and widely distributed.  I think it most closely resembles the front bird on the stamp.

In 1995, the Philippines declared that the National Bird should be the Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi).

Does anyone have a further comments for SG 2645?

Added 3rd  September, 1999
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