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Gyrfalcon

Falco rusticolus ORDER: FALCONIFORMES FAMILY: FALCONIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The largest falcon in the world, the Gyrfalcon breeds in arctic and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere. It preys mostly on large birds, pursuing them in breathtakingly fast and powerful flight.

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Appearance

Hawks
Hawks
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large falcon.
  • Broad-chested appearance.
  • May range from nearly pure white to dark gray to black, with variable barring and streaking; most are gray.
  • Faint mustache mark on face.
  • Long, broad, pointed wings.
  • Long, barred tail.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but more heavily marked on breast and belly; streaked instead of barred or spotted like adult. Cere and feet blue-gray.

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Similar Species

Similar Species

  • Peregrine Falcon can be very similar, but is smaller, with more distinct white-and-dark facial pattern, distinct mustache stripe, proportionally slimmer wings, and longer tail.
  • Prairie Falcon is smaller, slimmer, browner, and has dark wingpits.