Burkina Faso: Birds 2001

(Click on each stamp to see an enlargement)

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea)
Red-billed Quelea
(Quelea quelea)
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
(Dendrocygna autumnalis)
Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus)
Village Weaver
(Ploceus cucullatus)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Cattle Egret
(Bubulcus ibis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
(Dendrocopos major)
Double-spurred Francolin (Francolinus bicalcaratus)
Double-spurred Francolin
(Francolinus bicalcaratus)

A correspondent in the United States emailed me images of this set which he purchased on DelCampe. He also kindly sent me 5 of the set in used condition, as shown on this page. I do not have the 95F stamp.

I wonder if this set will ever find its way to the philatelic market through the usual channels, or will it become difficult to find, like those of Ivory Coast, 1980 and 1984, Mauritania 1994. If the legends on the stamps are to be believed, they were designed by F. Soubeiga and printed by Cartor. The same designer produced the 1994 kingfishers set which was printed by Courvoisier.

For me, this is a disappointing selection of species, with some obvious errors in the scientific names. The 25F claims to show Red-headed Weaver (Anaplectes rubriceps), but I think it looks more like Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea). The 50F is labeled Dendrocygna viduata, but it is obviously Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) which is not found in Burkina Faso.

The next two values are correctly labeled and are indigenous. The 425F stamp is labeled "Pic ponctue - Campethera masculosa" which is a West African woodpecker, but the image looks just like a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major). The top value claims to be a Double-spurred Francolin (Francolinus bicalcaratus), but its red legs show no "spurs" and they should be greenish. As the bird looks unlike any Francolin in Madge & McGowan's "Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse", I will probably leave this as "unidentified".

If anyone finds these stamps on sale, or already has them, please let me know.

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