16 g (Cu/Ni), Colourful Creatures - The Kingfisher

Few sights in nature are as spectacular as the contrasting electric blue and orange flash of a kingfisher flying low and fast over water. The bird’s markings are brought to life in vivid detail on the fourth coin in our superb 12-piece glow-in-the-dark Colourful Creatures series, which explores the wonderful world of wildlife.

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Mint Austrian Mint, Austria
Strike year 2017
Dimensions (diameter) 34 mm
Face value 3 EUR
Mass    16 g
Mintage 50 000

A small, squat bird with a large head and beak, the kingfisher may not look like the super-efficient predator that it actually is, but the bird’s eyesight is so good that kingfishers can perceive life under water and their torpedo-shaped body enables them to dive with lightning speed. They hunt fish and aquatic insects from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the surface of the water. The obverse of the 3 euro con shows a kingfisher on just such a perch, its eye on a leaping trout, while the reverse depicts the bird among the silhouettes of the other 11 animals featured in the Colourful Creatures series. Relatively widespread across Europe, the kingfisher’s vulnerability to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses make its conservation status unfavourable.

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Mint Austrian Mint