19 Surprising Facts About Gyrfalcon

Gyrfalcon is a formidable bird that has long been used in Russia as a hunting bird. A keen eye, powerful muscles, and a strong key – all this makes the gyrfalcon great predators, almost never missing the intended target. Gyrfalcons lend themselves to taming, however, even living with a person, they still retain their independence and obey only those whose superiority over themselves they voluntarily admit.

  • Female gyrfalcons are almost twice as large as males in size and weight.
  • The gyrfalcon is the largest bird of the falcons.
  • The total body length of the gyrfalcon reaches 60 centimeters, and the wingspan is 135 centimeters.
  • Gyrfalcons must eat about 200 grams of food every day – most often flying birds become their prey, which they grab right in the air, diving on top of them.
  • The main prey of gyrfalcons is partridge.
  • Gyrfalcons rarely build their own nests – they prefer to occupy the dwellings of other birds, especially buzzards and ravens. The diameter of the nest is about a meter.
  • In the Middle Ages, gyrfalcons were highly prized as excellent hunting birds.
  • In Russia, gyrfalcons are often caught by poachers in order to then sell the birds abroad for an average of $ 30,000.
  • The northernmost territories in which the gyrfalcon live are Greenland, Franz Josef Land, and Spitsbergen.
  • Gyrfalcons choose a pair for themselves once and for life.
  • Gyrfalcon chicks become completely independent from their parents at the age of 4 months.
  • In the wild, gyrfalcon lives up to two decades.
  • Gyrfalcon is a formidable predator, it is able to protect its offspring even from a bear if required.
  • Under natural conditions, gyrfalcons almost never get sick, but in captivity, they can get infected by people with infections to which they have no immunity.
  • There is a known case when families of gyrfalcons occupied the same nest from the 17th century to the present day, gradually replacing each other.
  • In the past, the gyrfalcon was considered a very valuable bird – these birds were presented to the rulers of other countries, especially foreign khans and sultans. In exchange for the gyrfalcon, they could easily give a good horse.
  • Gyrfalcon can accelerate up to 100 meters per second, chasing its prey.
  • Gyrfalcons rise vertically into the air, and not in a spiral, like most other birds.
  • Thanks to their keen eyesight, the gyrfalcon can spot potential prey more than a kilometer away.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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