Presentation of the commemorative stamp “Native birds” corn bunting and the stamp and postcard booklet “Songbirds” to BirdLife A SONGBIRD GOES SILENT: THE CORN BUNTING

The highly endangered corn bunting is Austria's Bird of the Year 2024 and also the first theme of the new stamp series "Native birds". In this series, Austrian Post, in cooperation with BirdLife Austria, presents endangered bird species. In the past 25 years, nine out of ten corn buntings have disappeared. The Austrian breeding population of the corn bunting is now limited to scattered, small areas in the east of the country. The commemorative stamp was designed by Lisa Filzi and has a face value of 95 cents, of which 340,000 units were issued.

The highly endangered corn bunting is the largest, but due to its plain plumage, also the most inconspicuous native bunting species. It needs open cultural landscapes with flower-rich fallows, small field woods, and individual bushes as hiding places, as well as single higher trees as song perches. These specific habitat requirements lead to the corn bunting's severe endangerment, as suitable habitats like fallows have become increasingly rare over the past decades due to the intensification of agricultural use.

The most significant breeding area is the Hanság (Waasen) lowland moor landscape on the Burgenland-Hungarian border: in 2022, 50 territories were counted here. The extinction of the corn bunting can still be prevented with appropriate measures. This requires an increase in temporarily unused economic areas as well as extensively managed field strips, ditch edges, or ruderal areas. Their increase not only helps the corn bunting but also many other field and meadow birds in Austria.

In addition to the commemorative stamp, Austrian Post, in cooperation with BirdLife Austria, is issuing the "Songbirds" stamp and postcard booklet for education and awareness raising. Four postcards and four stamps at 95 cents each showcase the colorful beauty of native songbirds.

27 February 2024

Pictures: © Österreichische Post AG

Group pictures: 
Left to right:
Georg Pölzl (CEO, Austrian Post), Patricia Liebermann (Head of Philately, Austrian Post), Gabor Wichmann (managing director, BirdLife).

First day corn bunting
First day corn bunting
First day corn bunting