Each year the Endangered Species series presents several species of the plant and animal kingdoms which are becoming increasingly harder to encounter when walking through the Czech countryside. The Czech Mint is commemorating these endangered species with its beautiful Smart coins and is also appealing to our sense of responsibility - the survival of these species is entirely in our hands. Let’s not let these silver coins soon become a sad reminder of another extinct creature! This new issue is dedicated to a truly imposing predator.
The Saker falcon ranges from Central Europe to Southeast Siberia, Northern Mongolia and China. In the Czech Republic however, this bird only nests in Moravia, although in the first half of the 20th century it was also found in Bohemia. Today the Czech population consists of only 8-10 pairs. The body of the bird is around 50 cm long with an impressive wingspan of 102-129 cm. It weighs approximately one kilogram.
Among the distinguishing features of the Saker falcon are the white crown on its head and brown bands on its neck. The abdomen and chest are also brown with streaking. Juveniles have blue-grey feet, while the feet of adults are bright yellow. The diet of the Saker falcon consists of small mammals and birds. After returning from its winter migration, it nests in the crowns of trees in deciduous or mixed forests or on cliffs. Females lay reddish-brown mottled eggs which typically hatch 3-5 fledglings after 30-31 days. This is the time when the falcons are most vulnerable. The primary threats facing this bird are disturbances during the nesting period, fallen nests, theft for breeding or the sale of young birds, and unfortunately also hunting.
The composition of the reverse of this silver Smart coin with nominal value of 1 NZD was prepared by academic sculptor Majka Wichnerová and features a relief motif of a perched Saker falcon in the foreground with a colored depiction of the predator in flight. The obverse bears the attributes of the issuer and an excellent relief of a wild forest, which particularly stands out with the exceptional proof minting quality. Don’t miss out on adding another beautiful piece of nature to your numismatic collection.