The Royal Canadian Mint has issued this year its 2000 50--cent sterling silver coin series entitled Canada's Birds of Prey, featuring four species of birds of prey which are indigenous to Canada's rich and diverse wildlife.
The Great Horned Owl
With enormous yellow eyes and obvious "horns," the Great Horned Owl is one of the most easily recognized nocturnal birds of prey. It is Canada's largest "tufted" owl with a height of up to 64cm (25 in) that is surpassed only by the Snowy Owl. The Great Horned Owl is perfectly adapted for night hunting. Its eyes penetrate the darkness and, contrary to popular belief, are just as effective in daylight. Ultra soft wing feathers also allow it to fly noiselessly in order to maximize hearing and descent undetected upon its prey. The Great Horned Owl hunts whatever food is available - from insects, rodents, and snakes to birds, rabbits, and even porcupines. Rather than build its own nest, the Great Horned Owl prefers to occupy the abandoned homes of other birds. Its distinctive hoot can be heard across Canada at any time of year.
Quebec artist Jean-Luc Grondin designed The Great Horned Owl coin. The obverse of each coin features a contemporary effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by artist Dora de Pédery-Hunt.
Each individual coin is encapsulated and presented in a display folder protected by an illustrative sleeve featuring information on Canada's Birds of Prey and the artists. In the four coin set, each coin is encapsulated and inserted in a presentation box with a booklet on the artists and the four species depicted on the coins. All coins can be removed from the presentation box.
Composition: Sterling Silver 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper
Weight: 9.3 grams
Diameter: 27.13 mm
Face Value: 50 cents
Each coin can be purchase individually for $19.95 ($13.45 US) per coin or in a four coin set for $59.95 ($40.95 US) per set. In North America, the coins are available directly from Professional Coin Dealers on the Canadian Coin Reference Site's Dealer Directory or at TOREX® - Canada's National Coin Show.