The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is one of the most brilliantly coloured songbirds in southeastern Canada, where it is a familiar sight throughout the year. The bright red male stands out against white snow and green trees. This medium-sized songbird isn't shy and the Cardinal can often be seen chasing other birds away from feeders, even spending hours pecking at its own reflection to expel an imaginary intruder from its breeding territory.
Females resemble the males, but lack the vivid red colouring. They are mostly grayish-brown with a reddish tint in their wings and tail feathers. Both have prominent crests and dark face-masks surrounding the strong coral-coloured beak, which is used to break open seeds and fruits.
Named after the red robes worn by Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church, the Northern Cardinal was once a popular cage bird for its attractive plumage and range of calls, songs and whistles. The male often calls attention to himself with the cheerful birdie, birdie, birdie call. However, the female has a longer, more complex repertoire, sometimes singing from the nest to inform her mate when food is needed.
Face Value: 25 cents
Composition: Nickel plated steel
Weight (g): 12.61
Diameter (mm): 35
Beautiful full-colour painted design of a bright red male Northern Cardinal. This theme is featured in the Canadian Wildlife Federation's 'wildly' popular Hinterland Who's Who program.
Coin encapsulated and presented in a maroon clamshell case lined with flock and protected by a black sleeve.