Turks and Caicos

"Birds of Turks & Caicos and the Caribbean"

(Click on each image to see an enlargement)

33-1 Australian Brush-turkey
160-8 Black-capped Chickadee
 Australian Brush-turkey
(Alectura lathami)
 Black-capped Chickadee
(Poecile atricapillus)
'Sickle Bill Gull'
74-182 Hyacinth Macaw
"Sickle Bill Gull"
Hyacinth Macaw
(Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

This modest issue from Turks and Caicos arrived with my latest selection of new issues. Luckily, I do not have to buy all of the stamps I see, as I am not impressed with this little set.

The MS states that it has been issued for "Birds of Turks & Caicos and the Caribbean", but none of the species on this quartet comes from the Caribbean, and one is probably a freak. The name "Scrub Turkey" seems to apply to the Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami). The "Chickadee" seems to most resemble Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), but it could be any one of most of the Chickadees.

The bird described as "Sickle Bill Gull" is very strange. It was new to me, but I suspected the bird shown had an unnaturally long upper mandible. Searching the web for something similar, I found two photographs of a gull described as "Sickle-billed"! I found the reference to this pair of photographs on the Tweeters web site. They were taken by Dan Logen at Lyons Park, Mount Vernon, WA on 19 August 1998.

The MS shows a Hyacinth Macaw on the stamp and its twin in the border. Each is lacking its tail.

Added 23 December 2000

Update 23 March 2001

Challenged to find the identity of the gull, I looked again at Dan's photographs and was amazed to realise that the bird on the stamp had been taken from one of the photographs. I emailed Dan who was surprised his copyright had been overlooked. He wrote that the consensus was that the bird was a Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) with a deformed bill.