Last updated on June 25th, 2020 at 11:00 pm
Last Updated on June 25, 2020 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
Canada is home to approximately 685 species of birds and 140 kinds of trees. The boreal forest found here is crucial habitat for breeding birds and is sometimes even referred to by experts as North America’s “bird nursery.” These 99.9% silver ten-dollar Canadian commemorative coins, first released in 2017, celebrate the connection between birds and their forest environment by showcasing five birds, each in their natural surroundings. The striking touch that makes this set truly unusual, however, is that the plants are shown in the vivid colors of spring, while the birds are depicted through their detailed engraving in silver. The contrast between colourful background and silvery foreground is stunning.
Favourite Birds and Trees of Canada
The set includes five well-loved birds that frequent backyards and bird feeders, each posing with favourite Canadian trees and flowers. The birds and plants featured include the following:
A black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), the brave little black-and-white seedeater that calls “chickadee-dee-dee,” perched on the branches of the trees.
- A northern flicker (Colaptes auratus), a striking mustached woodpecker often seen on the ground pecking at ants or on the side of a tree signaling its presence with a characteristic drumming sound. Here, it descends the trunk of an eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) surrounded by blooming trilliums on the forest floor (Trillium sp.).
- A tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), the crested caller of “pita pita” that brings a tiny blue jay to mind. A species rarely seen alone, a pair is perched on the unmistakable peeling bark of a yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis).
- A purple martin (Progne subis), a beloved summer visitor to Canada that spends most of its time catching insects. The purple foxglove flowers (Digitalis purpurea) on which it rests are a hint as to its name, and towering spruce trees (Picea sp.) in the background give a feel for the northern forest over which it flies.
- A white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis), cocking its head atop the cone of a white spruce (Picea glauca). It appears to be caught in the act of its characteristic feeding behavior, probing cones and descending trees vertically.
Boreal Forest in Colour and Birds in Detail
The artistry of the engraving on these coins is evident in the details. The bright overall appearance makes them appealing to anyone who enjoys nature or art. The minute details added to each scene, however, could pass a test of authenticity administered by even a trained naturalist, bird watcher or ecologist. For example, consider these subtle field marks:
- The chickadee’s plumage ruffled against the cool spring air and last year’s leaf scars on the twig on which it is perched
- The striping on the flicker’s back and its stiff tail feathers anchored against the tree trunk
The cocked head of the curious and sometimes belligerent titmouse
- Blooming foxglove, a sign of the season when the purple martin returns to Canada from its winter home down south
- The spruce tree cone, a food source for the long-beaked and nimble nuthatch
Why Choose Coins
High quality, authentic coins from a reputable dealer like Colonial Acres are always a smart purchase. Whether you are a numismatist interested in building your collection or a nature lover who enjoys artistic renderings of Canadian flora and fauna, this set has value as art, precious metals and currency. While songbirds high in the tree or flitting around a feeder can be elusive and spring flowers make us wait all winter to enjoy them, the birds on this five-piece silver coin set can be held in the hand and their vibrant forest environments can be admired up close forever. Why wait for spring? Check out these coins for yourself!