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The gyrfalcon is a bird of prey, the largest of the falcon species. The abbreviation gyr is also used. It breeds on Arctic coasts and tundra, and the islands of northern North America and the Eurosiberian region.
The largest falcon in the world, the ghostly Gyrfalcon is a fierce predator in the High Arctic, where it chases down ptarmigans in flight or plummets from the sky at breathtaking speeds to strike prey to the ground. Nesting on remote cliffs in the far reaches of Canada and Alaska, Gyrfalcons in North America are safe from most human disturbance but face challenges from a warming climate.
Buy Gyr-falcon online. The gyrfalcon is a bird of prey (Falco rusticolus), the largest of the falcon species. The abbreviation gyr is also used. It breeds on Arctic coasts and tundra, and the islands of northern North America, Europe, and Asia. It is mainly a resident there also, but some gyrfalcons disperse more widely after the breeding season, or in winter.
Individual vagrancy can take birds for long distances. Its plumage varies with location, with birds being colored from all-white to dark brown. These colour variations are called morphs. Like other falcons, it shows sexual dimorphism, with the female much larger than the male. For centuries, the gyrfalcon has been valued as a hunting bird. Typical prey includes the ptarmigan and waterfowl, which it may take in flight; it also takes fish and mammals.
The gyrfalcon almost invariably nests on cliff faces. Breeding pairs do not build their own nests, and often use a bare cliff ledge or the abandoned nest of other birds, particularly golden eagles and common ravens. The clutch can range from 1 to 5 eggs, but is usually 2 to 4. The average size of an egg is 58.46 mm × 45 mm (2.302 in × 1.772 in); the average weight is 62 g (2.2 oz). The incubation period averages 35 days, with the chicks hatching at a weight of around 52 g (1.8 oz). At 3 to 4 months of age, the immature gyrfalcons become independent of their parents, though they may associate with their siblings through the following winter.
The only natural predators of gyrfalcons are golden eagles, and even they rarely engage with these formidable falcons. Gyrfalcons have been recorded as aggressively harassing animals that come near their nests, although common ravens are the only predators known to successfully pick off gyrfalcon eggs and hatchlings. Even brown bears have been reportedly dive-bombed.Buy Gyr-falcon online. Humans, whether accidentally (automobile collisions or poisoning of carrion to kill mammalian scavengers) or intentionally (through hunting), are the leading cause of death for gyrfalcons. Gyrfalcons that survive into adulthood can live up to 20 years of age.
Interaction with humans:
The gyrfalcon has long associated with humans, primarily for hunting and in the art of falconry. It is the official bird of Canada’s Northwest Territories. The white falcon in the crest of the Icelandic Republic’s coat of arms is a variety of gyrfalcon. The white phase gyrfalcon is the official mascot of the United States Air Force Academy.
In the medieval era, the gyrfalcon was considered a royal bird. The geographer and historian described certain northern Atlantic islands west of Ireland where these falcons would be brought from. They also explained how the Egyptian Sultan paid 1,000 dinars for each gyrfalcon (or, if it arrived dead, 500 dinars). Due to its rarity and the difficulties involved in obtaining it, in European falconry the gyrfalcon was reserved for kings and nobles. Very rarely was a man of lesser rank seen with a gyrfalcon on his fist.
Falcons are known to be very susceptible to avian influenza. Therefore, an experiment was done with hybrid gyr-saker falcons, which found that five falcons vaccinated with a commercial H5N2 influenza vaccine survived infection with a highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, whereas five unvaccinated falcons died. Thus, both wild and captive gyrfalcons can be protected from bird flu by vaccination