Saturday, May 18, 2013

White-bellied Sea Eagle from Langkawi Island, Malaysia

Langkawi Island: Malaysia

A White-bellied Sea Eagle swoops to catch a small fish.

postmarked in 2013 with a Malaysia Katak Tanduk (Asian Horned Frog) stamp

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The White-bellied Sea Eagle is an opportunistic carnivore and consumes a wide variety of animal prey, including carrion.  It often catches a fish by flying low over the water and grasping it in its talons. It prepares for the strike by holding its feet far forward (almost under its chin) and then strikes backwards while simultaneously beating its wings to lift upwards. It may also dive at a 45 degree angle from its perch and briefly submerge to catch fish near the water surface.  While hunting over water on sunny days, it often flies directly into the sun or at right angles to it, seemingly to avoid casting shadows over the water and hence alerting potential prey.  And with a wingspan that ranges from 1.78 to 2.2 m (5.8 to 7.2 ft), that is a big bird to not cast a shadow!

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Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. 
Malaysia stamp 2007, 
Frog, Katak Tanduk (Asian Horned Frog) 50 sen

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This strange looking frog has pointy skin that sticks out over its eyes and snout.  This looks like horns, but they are just skin.  They can grow 2 to 5 inches long.  This frog lives in the rain forests of southern Asia.  It is speckled in different shades of brown which help it hide in dead leaves.

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