WWF - Loons and Grebes stamps from Aland
This is the third time Aland Post issues WWF stamps (World Wildlife Fund). Issued since 1982, WWF stamps form the largest thematic stamp collection in the world. WWF stamps always feature endangered species. Part of the stamp issue is sold in the form of thematic packs, and part of the profit is donated to WWF to assist them in preserving endangered species.
The four stamp motifs of the current issue were painted by Swedish artist Bo Lundwall and depict the Black-throated Loon, the Red-throated Loon, the Horned Grebe and the Great Crested Grebe. Bo is devoted to zoological painting, and has many commissions from businesses, private individuals and galleries.
The Black-throated Loon is 60 to 70 cm in length with a 110 to 130 cm wingspan. It is easily distinguished by a grey head and a chequered black-and-white mantle.
The Red-throated Loon is 50 to 70 cm in length with a 105 to 115 cm wingspan. Its bill is thin and often held pointing slightly upwards. The adult bird has a dark grey head and an all-dark grey-brown mantle.
The Great Crested Grebe is 45 to 50 cm in length with a 85 to 90 cm wingspan. These birds are easily distinguished from other water birds by their elaborate black and reddish brown wide cheek tufts.
The Horned Grebe is 30 to 40 cm in length with a 60 to 65 cm wingspan. It is unmistakable with its distinctive bright orange earlike tufts, black cheeks and red neck.