The white gyrfalcon or gerfalcon is one of the rarest birds that you can ever see in your life. Gyrfalcons are known to be very large in their sizes if they are compared to other normal falcons. Gyrfalcons are the largest of their species, falcon species, and can be found on the arctic coasts in addition to other islands that are located in Asia, Europe and North America. The color of gyrfalcons differs according the area in which they live. There are gyrfalcons which are completely white while there are others that are dark brown in their color and this is because the color of the bird is affected by the surrounding weather conditions that differ from one country to another. Let’s discover more about the characteristics of this rare bird through taking a look at what is written here.
♦ What are the characteristics of the gyrfalcon?
We mentioned before that the gyrfalcons are very large in their size, but do you know that the females are even larger and heavier than males? The length of male gyrfalcons ranges from 48-61 cm (19-24 in) long, while the weight ranges from 805-1350 g (1.8-3 lb). On the other hand, the length of females ranges from 51-65 cm (20-26 in) long, while the weight comes between 1180-2100 g (2.6-4.6 lb). The wingspan that the male gyrfalcons have ranges from 110-130 cm (43-51 in), while the female gyrfalcons have a wingspan from 124-160 cm (49-64 in).
♦ What about the colors of the gyrfalcons?
Gyrfalcons differ in their colors according to the area in which they live. There are several colors that you can find as there are white gyrfalcons, silver gyrfalcons, black gyrfalcons and brown gyrfalcons. You can find that there are gyrfalcons that have more than one color and it is not necessary for the gyrfalcon to come in just one color.
♦ What does the gyrfalcon eat?
The gyrfalcon is like other falcons that we know since it feeds on mammals and birds. Gyrfalcons do not eat while flying as they kill their prey on the ground and enjoy eating even if the prey is a bird. The types of birds that are eaten by the gyrfalcons include corvids, gulls, waders, small passerines and even raptors while the mammals that they eat include hares, squirrels, voles, lemmings and carrion as well but this rarely happens.
♦ What is the importance of gyrfalcons for humans?
Falcons in general are sought after by many individuals for their importance in hunting and the art of falconry which is common in some countries. Gyrfalcons are the same since they are used by many people in different countries around the world for hunting. They were considered before, during the medieval era, as royal birds since they were sought after by kings, sultans and nobles. They were very rare and difficult to be found which increased their price and made owning them limited to kings, nobles, sultans and rich people.
♦ The Most expensive gyrfalcons
Gyrfalcons especially the white ones are very expensive at the present time to the extent that their owners keep them a secret like a treasure to protect them from being stolen.