Few creatures can be said to thrive well in both cities and the wilderness. After nearly becoming extinct as a result of the use of DDT chemicals in the 1950s and 1960s, peregrine falcons were reintroduced and rehabilitated through the creation of nesting sites in urban areas. Peregrines’ preference for nesting on the sides of tall cliffs has found a functional substitute in the modern skyscraper, where pairs use the same nesting site year after year, generation after generation. Today, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Halifax, Saint John, Winnipeg, and Regina, among other Canadian cities, can boast being home to at least one nesting pair of peregrines.
The peregrine is one of nature’s most striking, beautiful, and graceful aerial predators. Known for its breathtaking displays of flight agility, the bird can also reach speeds over 300 km/h while stooping, making it the fastest animal on earth. Intimately tied to successful efforts to ban harmful DDT chemicals, and now a treasured sight for many Canadian city-dwellers, the peregrine is simultaneously one of the world’s most majestic birds, and a great symbol of adaptability and resurgence.
- One in a series of four coins designed by Canadian Aboriginal artist Corrine Hunt- designer of the gold, silver, and bronze medals, produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Other coins available in this series include the Orca Whale, Wood Bison and the Boreal Forest.
- The reverse design by Corrine Hunt depicts a stylized peregrine falcon executed with Hunt’s unique interpretation of traditional Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit forms. The powerful bird’s unblinking eye scans the world as this great predator waits patiently on its perch, head thrust forward, ready to strike with unmatched speed. In its chest, an ovoid form—a symbol of birth and rebirth—represents the hunter’s return from the brink of extinction.
- The beautiful finishes on this coin make it a piece of art.