gyrfalcon

(redirected from Greenland gyrfalcon)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

gyrfalcon

, gerfalcon
a very large rare falcon, Falco rusticolus, of northern and arctic regions: often used for hunting

Gyrfalcon

 

(Faleo gyrfalco), a bird of the family Falconidae, order Falconiformes. Body length, 50-60 cm. Male’s weight, up to 1.5 kg; female’s, up to 2 kg. The plumage is gray, or white with gray markings. The gyrfalcon is distributed in Northern Europe, Asia, and North America. It lives on rocky seacoasts and in forest tundra. Gyrfalcon mates stay together for many years. They nest on rocks, steep shores, or high trees. There are three to five brownish eggs with red spots in each clutch, which are incubated mainly by the female for 28-29 days. The young leave the nest at about two months. Gyrfalcons feed mainly on birds that they capture on the wing; more rarely they catch lemmings, voles, and hares. Gyrfalcons were highly prized as hunting birds in falconry. They are scarce everywhere and need to be protected.