Sunday, February 16, 2014

Numismatic Birding

Numismatics is the study/appreciation of coins... and over over the last few years, I have passively saved unique circulation quarters that I found in my change. I had a small jewelry drawer full quarters that I had saved and recently took inventory on what I had. Amazingly, I had 41 unique quarters from the 50 American State quarters, not to mention many recent quarters from Canadian Currency as well. In particular, the quarters from the "Our Legendary Nature" series [link] and the War of 1812 [link] were exciting coins to collect.

The Peregrine Falcon above is about $89 from the royal canadian mint and about $28 from the link below. 

The "Lucky Loonie" that was made famous at the Vancouver Olympics was buried at center ice at the hockey rink and some people credit (jokingly) that the loonie was responsible for Canada's win in mens hockey. The coin features a Common Loon emerging from underneath the water along with the Canadian Olympic team symbol. Jan Hudec recently won bronze in mens alpine skiing and it was noted that he too had buried this coin at the finish line. The royal canadian mint was offering 5-packs of this uncirculated coins delivered to your house for $5 with no tax and free shipping... Not a bad deal!

This beautiful coin below is a huge 1-oz pure silver coin featuring a Bald Eagle taking flight [link]. The interesting thing about this coin is that it costs $100, but has a face value of $100, so at any point of owning this coin, you could redeem its value at any bank. 

And the royal canadian mint has not forgotten about butterfly watchers as well. They created this excellent coin below featuring the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail which is available in a silver plated (~$30) and solid silver version (~$100). I'm excited to see what else comes this year. I think a coin featuring a Monarch would be a great followup for this year.

For birders who are budding numismatists, there are lots of exciting coins available right now and it looks like more great coins are to come.

Birding Update:
My birding has been lackluster lately. I have had a few uneventful birding trips closer to Windsor with not much to report. There are always great looks at waterfowl at Lakeview Marina but even there, I have not caught up with many rarities. On Saturday this past weekend, I saw two Horned Grebes and 15 White winged Scoters were nice to see.

Today, I joined the Essex County Field Naturalists walk at the Black Oak Heritage Park and Ojibway Shores for a birding walk. Just the most common winter birds were seen, although at Ojibway Shores, we had 3 Glaucous Gulls, 10 or more Great Black backed Gulls, 4 Bald Eagles and even a flyby Great Blue Heron among many expected waterfoul and gulls.

Good Birding!

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