The Great Horned Owl has previously featured the Royal Canadian Mints Birds of Prey and Reverse Proof Birds of Prey Series of bullion coins. These Gold Great Horned Owl coins ship inside plastic flips, sheets of 20 coins, or boxes for multiples of 800 coins. The new Canadian Great Horned Owl is a reverse-proof specimen with mirrored design elements overlaying a frosted background field.
The Great Horned Owl is also known as the tiger owl. This secondary name comes from the descriptions of early naturalists who encountered the bird in the wild. The coloration of the feathers on some Great Horned Owls bears a resemblance to the patterns on a tigers coat. This gave rise to the use of the term winged tiger when referencing the bird, which some later altered further in referring to the hunting prowess of the owl by calling it the tiger of the air.