This 2014 $20 fine silver coin was issued to celebrate Canada’s rich biodiversity, and highlights the animal kingdom’s family bonds with endearing images of Canada’s baby animals. The image features a young puffin with its mother in its natural habitat. Mintage is limited to just 7,500 coins. The coin is struck in .9999 fine silver and weighs just over one ounce. GST/HST exempt.
The coin features an endearing image of a small baby puffin nestling close to its mother, with an iconic Atlantic shoreline in the background. Selective colouring brings this small bird to life, while a proof finish compliments the coin.
In 1992, the puffin was made the official bird of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where hundreds of thousands of these charming creatures live. The puffin’s Latin name, fratercula arctica, likely refers to its black and white coat, as “fratercula” means “little brother” or “little friar”. Puffins are at their most recognizable in the spring during breeding season, when their beaks boast vibrant colours of orange, yellow and blue across their bill, with matching orange feet. In the winter, however, they shed these colourful beak plates, and lose their jet-black and bright-white feathers to grow greyish winter down. They look so starkly different, that people once thought they were two different species of birds! The winter look of the puffin is what baby puffins look like until maturity. Baby puffins newly-hatched have to be kept warm by both parents for at least a week until they can maintain their own body temperature. If nourishment is plentiful, chicks grow flight feathers and leave the nest in about 40 days. Soon, these sweet babies become the strong, swimming sea birds they are meant to be.