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8 April 2017

Bird definitive series (3) of Slovenia

€0,25 : European Green Woodpecker (綠啄木鳥) ; €0,30 : European Honey Buzzard (鵰頭鷹)
€0,50 ; Hazel Grouse (花尾榛雞), €0,75 : Firecrest (火冠戴菊)
€1,00 : European Bee-eater (黃喉蜂虎)
Slovenia (2016)

27th May, 2016. Maribor

European Green Woodpecker is one of the largest members of the woodpecker family, growing to a length of 30–33 cm. Its habitat consists of open areas with some trees, preferably old orchards. The female lays clutches of five to seven eggs in unlined tree cavities. It feeds on insects, especially ants, and therefore spends a lot of time on the ground hunting food with the help of its remarkably long tongue. It is a widely distributed species in Slovenia and a common species throughout the year.

European Honey Buzzard lives in open deciduous and mixed woodland bordering pastures and meadows. It usually builds its nest high in a tree and will frequently occupy the abandoned nest of other birds. The female lays one clutch of one to three eggs. It feeds on wasp larvae, adult wasps and bees, and also on amphibians and birds. The European honey buzzard is a summer species that migrates via Gibraltar, Sicily and the Bosporus to southern Africa. It is a relatively common nesting species in Slovenia.

Hazel Grouse is one of the smaller members of the grouse family, growing to a length of 35–37cm. It lives in coniferous and mixed forests with some undergrowth and, unlike the other members of the family, remains within a very small area, of just a few hundred square metres, throughout the year. It lives in pairs and is very shy, and therefore difficult to observe. The female lays clutches of six to ten eggs and both parents care for the chicks. The hazel grouse feeds on a variety of plant food (buds, shoots and seeds). It is relatively widely distributed in Slovenia and is found in all mountainous areas.

Common Firecrest is one of two members of the kinglet family found in Slovenia, it grows to a length of 8.5–9cm and weighs barely more than 5.5 g. Its habitat consists of coniferous and mixed forest, where it tirelessly hunts tiny insects among the needles and leaves of trees. It builds a bowl-shaped nest high up in a tree, where the female lays between seven and eleven eggs. Each female lays two clutches. A relatively common summer species in Slovenia, individual specimens also remain over the winter in southern areas.

European Bee-eater iswonderfully coloured member of the bee-eater family grows to a length of 27–29 cm. Its preferred habitat is open areas with clayey or sandy cliffs in which to dig a breeding burrow. The European bee-eater nests in colonies. The female lays clutches of four to seven eggs and both parents incubate and care for the chicks. Bee-eaters are aerial hunters of prey consisting of the larger insects, such as dragonflies, and also bees. This summer species migrates south in autumn. It is a very rare nesting species in Slovenia.
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