The Royal Canadian Mint has announced the second issue of the “Birds of Prey” silver bullion & collector coin series featuring one of the most recognized and synonymous species of wildlife associated with the North American continent, that of the Bald eagle. Revered in both Canada and the United States, this raptor, once included on the endangered species list, has made a remarkable recovery, thanks to the vigilance of many wildlife associations and public education leading to the protection of their environments enabling them to reach greater numbers.
When it comes to hunting, the bald eagle’s most important assets are its eyes, its talons, and its exceptional diving speed. Eagle vision is about six times stronger than that of humans. In addition, transparent nictitating membranes on their eyes allow eagles to “blink” without losing sight of prey for even a moment. The eagle’s claws are its key tool for hunting, nest building and more. Composed of three front toes and one back toe, all tipped with long keratinous talons, its claws are connected to tendons in the eagle’s legs and feet that allow it to clamp down on captured prey with crushing force. Once the hunter has spotted the day’s catch, it will dive at speeds in excess of 120 kilometers per hour, snatching its prey from the water or ground with lightning speed. Eagles can live up to 30 years in the wild and will as circumstances allow, mate for life. It is the male who predominantly builds the nest and invites the female to share a new home. Eagle couples will raise their young, usually two or three eggs, together, taking it in turns to incubate and after their young are hatched, will both hunt and share in their feeding and protection. Eagle parents will continue to feed their juvenile eaglets even after they fledge and pass on their survival skills of hunting and until they fly away to live their life of soaring the skies and beginning the cycle of life once again in safer ecological conditions.
The coin, designed by Emily Damstra depicts a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) just having caught a fish. The eagle dominates the image, its stunning wings spread wide in flight as it is viewed in full-body profile from its left side. The bald eagle’s characteristic dark body and wings, white head and tail, and powerful legs and talons are prominently featured. The obverse includes the current portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II as designed by Susanna Blunt and in use on all circulation and most commemorative Canadian coins since 2003.
This coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with black beauty box. The first coin in this series, featuring the Peregrine Falcon and launched in February 2014, is now approaching a sell-out of its mintage of one million bullion-strike coins. This issue also includes a mintage of one million pieces struck as a bullion-related item which is available for purchase through retail channels.
For more information or to place an order, please visit the Royal Canadian Mint product page. Information offered in English and French.