Though it seems the latest trends have adopted the motto, “just put a bird on it” this is not a new idea for banknote designers. In fact I think that birds are probably the most famous animal when it comes to being featured on banknote designs. From Sri Lanka to Fiji, to Gambia and even Galapagos Islands, there are hundreds of different notes featuring several different birds. You can see your common birds like a hummingbird on Brazil’s 1 Real or a cockatoo on Indonesia’s 10 Rupiah. You can also see some unique and strange birds such as, a hoopoe bird on Gambia’s 50 Dalasi or a camussela on Sao Tome’s 20,000 Dobra and perhaps my favorite “odd bird” the Rhinoceros Hornbill depicted on Malaysia’s 5 Ringgit.
Other countries have implemented the “birds of a feather flock together” approach and continue their theme of birds throughout the entire series of their notes. Bermuda has a beautiful bird series with their $2 note being classified among the nine most beautiful in world. The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) names a “bank note of the year” and decided this note should join eight others because of its attractive colorful elements, “[the note] creates interest among the ever-widening community of banknote collectors.” (look out for a blog focusing on these Bermuda notes!)
However Bermuda is far from the only country to use birds consistently throughout their notes. You can see the Fish Eagle has had a very successful modeling career with Zambia’s banknotes. You also have Suriname, who features a woodpecker, black throated mango along with a brilliant colorful toucan; as well as Gambia who uses several different birds on their notes. Sri Lanka has a fantastic set with some of their indigenous birds. The 20 Rupee note with the Serendib Scops Owl, 50 Rupee- Sri Lanka’s dull blue flycatcher (I’m guessing this guy is pretty good at catching flies, but not a great conversationalist. He’s probably blue too) 100 Rupee- Sri Lanka’s orange billed babbler, 500 Rupee- The emerald collared parakeet, 1,000 Rupee- Sri Lanka’s hanging parrot and the 5,000 Rupee note with the yellow eared bulbul.
So as you can see birds have long been a part of the beautiful art of banknote collecting. If anyone has any questions on other birds featured on notes I carry let me know. I am working on a complete list of countries but as I’m sure you can understand it is quite a birden. Wow, that’s just fowl. Now I can’t stop, I hate it wren that happens. Yeah that’s posidovely bad, I was just winging it but I’ll give it a nest already.