gyrfalcon

/jerr"fawl'keuhn, -fal'-, -faw'keuhn/, n.
a large falcon, Falco rusticolus, of arctic and subarctic regions, having white, gray, or blackish color phases: now greatly reduced in number.
Also, gerfalcon.
[1300-50; ME gerfaucon, jerfacoun < MF, OF, equiv. to ger- (perh. < OHG giri greedy) + faucon FALCON; cf. ON geirfalki]

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Arctic bird of prey (Falco rusticolus), the largest falcon.

It may reach 2 ft (60 cm) in length. It breeds only in the North Pole region (and in some Central Asian highlands) but is sometimes seen at lower latitudes when food is scarce. It varies from pure white with black speckling to dark gray with barring. Its legs are fully feathered. It hunts near the ground for hares, rodents, and birds of the tundra and seacoast. In traditional falconry, the gyrfalcon was the bird of kings.

Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) with prey.

Shelly Grossman/Woodfin Camp & Associates

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bird
      (Falco rusticolus), Arctic bird of prey of the family Falconidae, the world's largest falcon (q.v.). The gyrfalcon may reach 60 cm (2 feet) in length. Confined as a breeder to the circumpolar region except for isolated populations in Central Asian highlands, it is sometimes seen at lower latitudes in winters when food is scarce. The gyrfalcon varies from pure white with black speckling to dark gray with barring. The legs are fully feathered.

      The gyrfalcon hunts near the ground for hares, rodents, and birds of the tundra and seacoast. Its only rival is the higher flying peregrine falcon. In traditional falconry, the gyrfalcon was the bird of kings. The gyrfalcon is now the official mascot of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gyrfalcon — Gyr fal con (j[ e]r f[add] k n), n. [OE. gerfaucon, OF. gerfaucon, LL. gyrofalco, perh. fr. L. gyrus circle + falco falcon, and named from its circling flight; or cf. E. gier eagle. See {Gyre}, n., {Falcon}.] (Zo[ o]l.) One of several species and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gyrfalcon — also gerfalcon, c.1200, from O.Fr. girfauc large northern falcon, probably from Frankish, from P.Gmc. *ger (Cf. O.H.G. gir vulture ) + L. falco hawk (see FALCON (Cf. falcon)). Folk etymology connects it with L. gyrus (see GYRE (Cf. gy …   Etymology dictionary

  • gyrfalcon — ► NOUN ▪ a large arctic falcon, with mainly grey or white plumage. ORIGIN probably related to High German g r spear …   English terms dictionary

  • gyrfalcon — [jʉr′fôl΄kən, jʉr′fô΄kən; jʉr′fal΄kən] n. [ME gerfaucoun < OFr girfaucon < Frank * gerfalko < * ger (OHG gir, hawk), lit., greedy (one) < IE base * ĝhī, *ĝhe > GAPE + * falko, FALCON] a large, fierce, strong falcon (Falco… …   English World dictionary

  • Gyrfalcon — Taxobox name = Gyrfalcon or Gerfalcon image width = 220px image caption = Brown morph status = LC status system = iucn3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Falconiformes familia = Falconidae genus = Falco subgenus = (… …   Wikipedia

  • gyrfalcon — medžioklinis sakalas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Falco gyrfalco; Falco rusticolus; Hierofalco rusticolus angl. gyrfalcon vok. Gerfalke, m rus. кречет, m pranc. faucon gerfaut, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – tikrieji… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • gyrfalcon — noun Etymology: Middle English gerfaucun, from Anglo French girfauc, girfaucon, probably from gir vulture (from Old High German gīr) + faucon falcon Date: 14th century an arctic falcon (Falco rusticolus) that occurs in several color forms and is… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gyrfalcon — noun /ˈdʒəːfɔːlkən/ A large bird of prey that breeds on Arctic coasts and islands of North America, Europe and Asia. [...] the usurper Buljan ordered that his sukkah be erected on the donjons roof, with its [...] relative nearness to the stars,… …   Wiktionary

  • gyrfalcon — n. large Arctic falcon (bird of prey)gyr·fal·con || dÊ’Éœr‚fælkÉ™n / dʒɜː‚fɔːlkÉ™n …   English contemporary dictionary

  • gyrfalcon — [ dʒə:ˌfɔ:(l)k(ə)n, ˌfɒlk(ə)n] noun a large arctic falcon, occurring in several colour forms including a mainly white one. [Falco rusticolus.] Origin ME: from OFr. gerfaucon, of Gmc origin, prob. related to Old High Ger. gēr spear …   English new terms dictionary

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