Israel is a paradise for birds and birdwatchers every day of the year. Situated at the crossroad linking Europe, Asia and Africa, between the Great Rift Valley and the shores of the Mediterranean, Israel’s unique climatic conditions make it a stopover point second to none in the world during the spring and autumn migrations.
Twice annually Israel hosts 500 million migrating birds, more than a billion birds in total, and they have become a significant and beautiful part of our landscape. A remarkable 540 different species have been identified, more than in many countries much larger than Israel geographically.
The migratory flight patterns are oblivious to politics in the world below, proving the slogan, “migrating birds know no boundaries”. They can provide the basis for international cooperation in education, research, conservation, and tourism. The flight of birds symbolizes the universal dream of freedom of the spirit.
The Israel 61st Anniversary Coin focuses on the newly-proclaimed national bird of Israel, the beautiful Hoopoe (“Doochifat” in Hebrew) and the two “runners-up”, the graceful Warbler, and the Goldfinch. The Hoopoe, who wears a natural crown on her head, is found in gardens and fields all over Israel. It is cited numerous times in Jewish scriptures: “And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the hoopoe…” (Leviticus 11:19)
Pictures of these three birds grace the front of this lively Independence Day coin. On the denomination side, a different bird appears on each denomination: the Warbler on the 10 Shekel, the Hoopoe on the 2 Shekel, and the Goldfinch on the 1 Shekel.
The national Bird "Hoopoe" with a "Warbler" and "Goldfinch" in the background. Around the rim, the inscription, "Birds of Israel" in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
The denomination, "1, 2 or 10" with the year of issue "5769/2009" and the word "Israel" in Hebrew, English and Arabic. The inscription, "Independence Day 2009" in Hebrew and English. The State Emblem at the top. "New Sheqel" or "New Sheqalim" below the denomination. 10 NIS: Warbler, 2 NIS: Hoopoe, 1 NIS: Goldfinch. The Proof coins mintmarked with a Hebrew 'mem' below the denomination. The Proof-like coins with a six pointed 'Star of David'.
NIS-New Israel Sheqalim