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NATURE OF TOKELAU Redtailed Tropicbird Silver Coin 5$ Tokelau 2012


Issued in legal tender in Tokelau Islands in 2012, it honors one of the rarest Redtailed Tropicbird yet is still a widespread bird that is not considered threatened. It looks like a stout tern, and hence closely resembles the other two tropicbird species.

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Named for its greatly elongated tail streamers, which are boldly coloured red and can measure up to 35 centimetres in length, the red-tailed tropicbird is a graceful seabird. The plumage is predominantly white, often with a pinkish sheen. Chicks hatch out covered in long, whitish to gray down, which moults to a juvenile plumage of white with heavy black barring on the head, back, and uppersides of the wings, before they develop the adult plumage.
This elegant bird has a robust, yet streamlined body with long, sharply-pointed wings that provide aerodynamic efficiency while soaring on thermals far out at sea, and a stout, downward-curving bill with serrated edges, used for holding onto slippery fish. While perfectly adapted for acrobatic aerial manoeuvres the red-tailed tropic bird is less impressive on land. The rearward-set legs and feet are set too far back to support the bird in an upright position, limiting movement on ground to an awkward shuffle.
The Red-tailed Tropicbird nests on oceanic islands in large colonies from the Hawaiian Islands to Easter Island and across to Mauritius and the Reunion Island. In Australia, they nest on Queensland's coral islands (including Lady Elliott Island) and islands off Western Australia. They disperse widely after breeding, birds ringed in Hawaii have been recovered as far away as Japan and the Philippines. They range from the Red Sea to New Zealand and Chile.
When breeding, they mainly choose coral atolls with low shrubs, nesting underneath them (or occasionally in limestone cavities). They feed offshore away from land, singly rather than in flocks. They are plunge-divers that feed on fish, mostly flying fish, and squid.
Strong winds can blow them inland on occasions, which explains some sighting records away from the coast and their preferred habitats.

  • CountryTokelau
  • Year2012
  • Face Value5 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)925/1000
  • Weight (g)20
  • Diameter (mm)38.61
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)2.500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)No
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The coin’s reverse depicts a design of a coloured red-tailed tropicbird, the background incorporates a beautifull tropical landscape and the inscriptions "NATURE OF TOKELAU" and "Phaethon rubricauda". The coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.