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Falconiformes > Falconidae

Gyrfalcon

Falco rusticolus

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Identification

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Stocky beast of a falcon; ranges in color from strikingly white to silvery-gray to dark sooty-brown. Relatively long tail and broad wings with powerful flight. Generally darker above and paler below, with markings on belly ranging from small and crisp to big and chunky. Breeds on cliffs on Arctic tundra; winters in large open areas. Never common even on breeding grounds; rare everywhere in the continental U.S. Bulkier and shorter-winged than Peregrine Falcon with more diffuse face pattern and silvery undersides on flight feathers. Feeds on birds and mammals.

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Learn more about Gyrfalcon from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds