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



(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.

References in periodicals archive ?
The gyrfalcon samples were collected after a falconer reported signs of illness in his birds.
The exclusive event had Formula 1 champion Jenson Button display his falconry skills while he presented the two Gyrfalcons from the exclusive Abu Dhabi Falconers' Club in a flamboyant style.
He added: "There are only a couple of sightings each year of Gyrfalcons in Scotland.
Different social ranks had different birds under the Laws of Ownership - a king could have gyrfalcons, earls could have peregrines, priests could have sparrowhawks, while knaves would have the 'useless' kestrel.
Gyrfalcons, the world's largest species of falcon, still continually use the nesting site on a precarious cliff edge.
The Welsh Hawking Centre, Barry will be forced to keep spraying its gyrfalcons, whose natural habitat is near the Arctic Circle, over the weekend as Barry is set to reach temperatures of 29C (84F).
Gyrfalcons plunge at speeds up to 58 meters per second (130 mph), report Vance A.
It takes a full seven years to be eligible for status as a master falconer, making the handler able to fly a variety of birds, including peregrines, gyrfalcons and great horned owls.
There are plenty of nesting birds to see, among them eiders, gyrfalcons, and peregrine falcons.
During years of rodent shortages up north, we can also observe a hunger-driven influx of special raptors, like snowy, great gray, boreal, hawk and long-eared owls, as well as gyrfalcons and rough-legged hawks.
All 4 birds were female gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) between 1 and 3 years of age.