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, gerfalcon
a very large rare falcon, Falco rusticolus, of northern and arctic regions: often used for hunting
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A 3-month-old, captive-bred gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) of unknown sex was presented for acute respiratory distress and voice change of < 12-hour duration.
A white male gyrfalcon can cost thousands of pounds more.
"We are thrilled to help these wonderful birds return to the wild and contribute to the highly endangered population of gyrfalcons," said Masha Vorontsova, IFAW's Russia director.
Unfortunately, the Gyrfalcon - with a wingspan of over 6ft - is also likely to be the loneliest bird in the world as none of his feathered friends joined him on his trip to the Isle of Lewis.
Gyrfalcons live around the Arctic and range in colour from being almost exclusively white in Greenland to usually black in Labrador in Canada.
Travel will be by van, boat, and foot in search of Alaska's specialty birds and mammals--puffins, eagles, musk-ox, orcas, loons, bears, humpbacks, gyrfalcons, and even bristle-thighed curlews.
Gyrfalcons plunge at speeds up to 58 meters per second (130 mph), report Vance A.
Henry, 1st Lord Berkeley kept a man in London for a month or so each year to by `haggard falcons for the river'.(46) Thomas Emmerson, in the summer of 1593, travelled for six weeks to Norway, presumably to acquire gyrfalcons.(47) The Port Books of London and the provincial ports confirm regular imports, usually of passagers (hawks trapped on migration) during the autumn.(48) Goshawks and peregrines were brought in from Ireland (particularly Ulster), goshawks from Germany, central Europe and Scandinavia, lanners from Italy and France, and gyrfalcons from Iceland, Norway, Greenland and Russia.(49) Holland was a major entrepot both for passagers, which were trapped locally at Valkenswaard, and for other hawks transhipped from various parts of Europe.
In 1992, Gyrfalcons and Golden Eagles fledged all young hatched.
There are plenty of nesting birds to see, among them eiders, gyrfalcons, and peregrine falcons.
Subsequently, an individual coprological analysis of the remaining 15 falcons (peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons [Falco rusticolus]) from the same owner was performed.
A chapter will begin, "On a beautiful day, two young ornithologists were preparing to set out to look for gyrfalcons," but we never learn the names of the ornithologists.