Gyrfalcon

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Gyrfalcon

Gyrfalcon

Olafur Larsen 2009
Image Source

The Gyrfalcon is the largest of the falcons measuring 22 inches long with a wingspan of 50 inches, and is a very fast flier.  This raptor hunts mainly ptarmigan and small mamals abundant in its arctic habitat but will hunt a wide variety of birds if available.  It’s color is quite variable ranging from almost grey like the Northern Goshawk to white, so good defining factors are its long tail feathers and its yellow orange eye ring.

The Gyrfalcon does not build a nest.  When it comes time to breed it preferrs to find a cliff ledge on which to lay its eggs, or perhaps an abandoned nest.  It has also been know to cache food and retrieve it while raising chicks.

Additional Images:

Gyrfalcon Map

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Image Source

References

Vanner, Michael.  The Complete Encyclopedia of North American Birds. Parragon Publishing, Bath, UK 2005.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology:  All About Birds.  http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gyrfalcon/lifehistory

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

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