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CANADIAN OWLS SERIES
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CARNIVORES
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WHALES
UNGULATES
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BARN OWL
BURROWING OWL
FLAMMULATED OWL
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Barn Owl 
The barn owl's distinct white, heart-shaped face is accentuated by penetrating, black eyes.  Because of its long wings, the bird prefers open country: agricultural lands, marshes or grasslands. 

Nesting sites are generally near farms with the majority in farm buildings.  As rural land is consumed by cities and towns, barn owl habitat is disappearing. 

Although the species adapts readily to artificial nesting boxes, large, open tracts of agricultural land and foraging habitat are also necessary for its survival.

Burrowing Owl 
Once common to the Canadian Prairies, the burrowing owl is not much bigger than a robin.  Standing on long, slim legs on the ground or atop a fence post, it scans the treeless landscape for rodents, insects, or small birds, ready to take to the air in pursuit. 

In its underground nest — the abandoned burrow of a woodchuck, badger, or other small mammal — the mother owl and its mate take turns brooding six to ten eggs.  If a predator threatens their burrow, they issue a distress call that perfectly mimics a rattlesnake's warning. 

 

Flammulated Owl
This curious, nocturnal bird lives at the northern tip of its range in Canada.  Found in the Douglas fir forests of southern British Columbia, it generally nests in tree cavities. 

The little owl is a "sit-and-wait" predator, often remaining hidden on the lookout for prey.

 

 
 
 
 
CANADIAN CARNIVORES SERIES
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CARNIVORES
BIRDS OF PREY
WHALES
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COUGAR
GRIZZLY BEAR
POLAR BEAR
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Cougar
Like all cats, the cougar has a lithe, muscular, deep-chested body and a rounded head.  Its distinctive characteristics include a long tail, which is useful for balance. 

Cougar sightings are rare because this extremely elusive animal usually avoids contact with humans.  Tracks in the snow are usually the only sign of a cougar's presence. 

Grizzly Bear
A large body of folklore has grown up around this legendary and much-maligned yet little understood animal.  Lewis and Clark described in detail many dangerous encounters with grizzlies in their journals. 

Once ranging south to California and Mexico and east to the Manitoba border, the grizzly population has gradually shrunk and is now limited to northwestern North America. 

Polar Bear
Under a rising spring sun, polar bears, with their massive bodies and long necks, appear lemon yellow against the dazzling whiteness of their habitat — Arctic pack ice. 

Well adapted to their surroundings, they are protected against the cold by thick coats with glossy guard hairs and dense underfur, plus thick layers of fat beneath their skin.

 

 
 
 
 
CANADIAN BIRDS OF PREY SERIES
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FERRUGINOUS HAWK
QUEEN CHARLOTTE GOSHAWK
PEREGRINE FALCON
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Ferruginous Hawk
A large, soaring raptor with rounded wing-tips, the ferruginous hawk is found in open, arid habitats dominated by grasses or sagebrush. 

As grasslands have been reduced by an increasing number of trees invading from the north, the species' range is being pushed southward.  At the same time, more extensive agriculture has caused the hawk to abandon much of its former range.  Increasing cultivation also reduces the amount of prey available.

Queen Charlotte Goshawk
The goshawk ranges from southern New Mexico to north of the timberline and from Alaska to Newfoundland.  However, Accipiter gentilis laingi, a subspecies of the northern goshawk, is restricted to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Vancouver Island. 

The loss of its preferred nesting habitat — old-growth forests — is likely the cause of the Queen Charlotte goshawk's decline.

Peregrine Falcon
One of three peregrine falcon subspecies found in North America, the tundra peregrine falcon is the smallest. 

True to its scientific name peregrinus, meaning "coming from foreign parts" or "wanderer," this highly  migratory Arctic falcon breeds in the Northwest Territories and winters in South America.

 

 
 
 
CANADIAN  WHALES SERIES
 OWLS
CARNIVORES
BIRDS OF PREY
WHALES
UNGULATES
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BLUE WHALE
RIGHT WHALE
HUMPBACK WHALE
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Blue Whale
Steel-blue in colour, the blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth. 

Reaching up to 30 metres in length and weighing 100 tonnes or more, it is about three times the size of the largest dinosaur that ever existed.  It feeds exclusively on planktonic crustaceans, or krill.

Right Whale
Fat, heavy, and rotund, the right whale reaches up to 18 metres in length and about 95 tonnes in weight.  Born bluish grey, the whale becomes almost entirely black with age. 

Feeding near the surface and being a slow swimmer, it was considered to be the "right" catch by whalers, who nearly hunted the species to extinction decades ago.

Humpback Whale
Famous for its spectacular breaching, flipper-slapping and haunting undersea song, the energetic humpback whale is easily identified by its knobby head and long flippers. 

Each individual can be distinguished by scientists thanks to the unique black and white coloration on the underside of its flukes. 

 

 
 
 
 
CANADIAN UNGULATES SERIES
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CARNIVORES
BIRDS OF PREY
WHALES
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WOOD BISON
PEARY CARIBOU
WOODLAND CARIBOU
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Wood Bison
Weighing up to a tonne, Canada's largest wild terrestrial species, the wood bison is noted for its massive, humped shoulders, low-set head and slim, tapering hindquarters. 

Larger, darker and woollier than the typical plains bison, it was historically found throughout the coniferous forests of western Alberta extending to the Mackenzie Valley of the Northwest Territories.  Much of this habitat has been lost to ranches and other agricultural interests

Peary Caribou
The smallest of our three caribou species, this uniquely Canadian subspecies inhabits only the High Arctic.  It migrates seasonally, reflecting a constant search for optimum feeding conditions in the harsh northern climate. 

It is susceptible to starvation and large fluctuations in population size because of a frequent lack of available vegetation resulting from extreme snow and ice conditions. 

Woodland Caribou
The caribou graces Canada's 25-cent piece.  Three main subspecies — Peary, barren-ground and woodland — exhibit differences in size and coloration.  However, they are mainly distinguished by separate geographical locations. 

The woodland caribou originally ranged from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including Newfoundland, Cape Breton island and Prince Edward Island in the east and the Queen Charlotte Islands in the west.  Generally thought to be an animal of lichen-rich forests, it also inhabits woodlands, mountain meadows, river valleys and wind-swept tundra. 

 
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