Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Falconiformes > Falconidae > Falco > Falco rusticolus

Falco rusticolus (Gyrfalcon)

Synonyms: Falco rusticolus obsoletus; Falco rusticolus rusticolus; Falco rusticolus uralensis
Language: French

Wikipedia Abstract

The gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) (/ˈdʒɜːrfɔːlkən/ or /ˈdʒɜːrfælkən/), also spelled gerfalcon, is a bird of prey, the largest of the falcon species. The abbreviation gyr is also seen in the literature. It breeds on Arctic coasts and tundra, and the islands of northern North America, Europe, and Asia. It is mainly a resident there also, but some gyrfalcons disperse more widely after the breeding season, or in winter. Individual vagrancy can take birds for long distances. Its plumage varies with location, with birds being coloured from all-white to dark brown. These colour variations are called morphs. Like other falcons, it shows sexual dimorphism, with the female much larger than the male. For centuries the gyrfalcon has been a precious hunting bird, highly valued among the Vikings. Typical
View Wikipedia Record: Falco rusticolus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 3.60939
EDGE Score: 1.5281


Adult Weight [1]  3.22 lbs (1.46 kg)
Birth Weight [3]  52 grams
Female Weight [1]  3.86 lbs (1.75 kg)
Male Weight [1]  2.58 lbs (1.17 kg)
Weight Dimorphism [1]  49.7 %
Female Maturity [3]  2 years
Male Maturity [3]  2 years
Breeding Habitat [2]  Arctic tundra
Wintering Geography [2]  Northern U.S./Canada
Wintering Habitat [2]  Generalist
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Vertebrates)
Diet - Endothermic [4]  100 %
Forages - Aerial [4]  10 %
Forages - Mid-High [4]  10 %
Forages - Understory [4]  10 %
Forages - Ground [4]  70 %
Clutch Size [5]  4
Clutches / Year [3]  1
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  77,000
Incubation [3]  35 days
Maximum Longevity [3]  14 years
Wing Span [6]  3.9 feet (1.2 m)


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Alaska Peninsula montane taiga United States Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Alaska-St. Elias Range tundra United States Nearctic Tundra
Aleutian Islands tundra United States Nearctic Tundra
Amur meadow steppe China, Russia Palearctic Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
Arctic coastal tundra Canada, United States Nearctic Tundra    
Arctic foothills tundra Canada, United States Nearctic Tundra
Baffin coastal tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
Bering tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Beringia lowland tundra United States Nearctic Tundra
Beringia upland tundra United States Nearctic Tundra
Brooks-British Range tundra Canada, United States Nearctic Tundra
Cherskii-Kolyma mountain tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Chukchi Peninsula tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Davis Highlands tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
East Siberian taiga Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
High Arctic tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
Hokkaido deciduous forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Hokkaido montane conifer forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Honshu alpine conifer forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests  
Iceland boreal birch forests and alpine tundra Iceland Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Interior Alaska-Yukon lowland taiga Canada, United States Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Interior Yukon-Alaska alpine tundra Canada, United States Nearctic Tundra
Kamchatka Mountain tundra and forest tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Kamchatka-Kurile meadows and sparse forests Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Kamchatka-Kurile taiga Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Kola Peninsula tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Low Arctic tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
Manchurian mixed forests Republic of Korea, Dem. People's Rep of Korea, China, Russia Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Middle Arctic tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
Mongolian-Manchurian grassland China, Mongolia Palearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Nihonkai montane deciduous forests Japan Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests  
Northeast China Plain deciduous forests China Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Northeast Siberian coastal tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Northeast Siberian taiga Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Northern Canadian Shield taiga Canada Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Northwest Russian-Novaya Zemlya tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Ogilvie-MacKenzie alpine tundra Canada, United States Nearctic Tundra
Scandinavian and Russian taiga Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Scandinavian coastal conifer forests Norway Palearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Scandinavian Montane Birch forest and grasslands Norway, Sweden, Finland Palearctic Tundra
Taimyr-Central Siberian tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Torngat Mountain tundra Canada Nearctic Tundra
West Siberian taiga Russia Palearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Yamal-Gydan tundra Russia Palearctic Tundra
Yukon Interior dry forests Canada Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Aleutian Islands Biosphere Reserve 2720489 Alaska, United States    
Altaisky Zapovednik Ia 2177587 Altai, Russia
Andakill Protected Habitat Area 7626 Iceland      
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Ib 12402936 Alaska, United States
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge IV 14642 North Dakota, United States
Aulavik National Park II 3021211 Northwest Territories, Canada
Auyuittuq National Park II 4808115 Nunavut, Canada
Baikalo-Lensky Zapovednik Ia 1630896 Irkutsk, Russia
Barguzinskiy Biosphere Reserve Zapovednik Ia 924970 Buryatia, Russia
Bashkirsky State Nature Reserve 274648 Bashkortostan, Russia
Bonanza Creek LTER Site Long Term Ecological Research   Alaska, United States
Bruce Peninsula National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Central Plains Biosphere Reserve 15345 United States  
Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve 864738 British Columbia, Canada  
Colorado National Monument III 20420 Colorado, United States
Daurskiy Biosphere Reserve 562659 Russia  
Daursky Biosphere Reserve 113150 Chita, Russia
Dee Estuary/ Aber Dyfrdwy 39057 England/Wales, United Kingdom
Denali Biosphere Reserve 1932364 Alaska, United States
Dzhugdzhursky State Nature Reserve 2124998 Khabarovsk, Russia
Fathom Five National Marine Park II   Ontario, Canada
Forillon National Park II 61010 Quebec, Canada  
Fundy National Park II 52716 New Brunswick, Canada
Gates of the Arctic National Park Ib 184461 Alaska, United States
Gros Morne National Park II 476632 Newfoundland, Canada
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve II 366714 British Columbia, Canada
Gydansky State Nature Reserve 2170015 Yamalo-Nenets, Russia
Ivvavik National Park II 2382752 Yukon, Canada
Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve 174283 Murmansk, Karelia, Russia
Kenozersky National Park 345115 Arkhangelsk, Russia
Khakassia State Nature Reserve 661168 Khakassia, Russia
Khankaisky State Nature Reserve 97085 Primorsky Krai, Russia
Kivach Zapovednik IV 26885 Karelia, Russia
Kluane National Park and Reserve National Park Reserve II 5463436 Yukon, Canada
Komandorsk Biosphere Reserve 9016082 Kamchatka Krai , Russia    
Koryak State Nature Reserve 808420 Kamchatka Krai, Russia
Krkonose National Park V 95995 Czech Republic  
Kronotskiy Biosphere Reserve 361480 Russia  
Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve 2822275 Kamchatka Krai , Russia
Kurilsky State Nature Reserve 161520 Sakhalin, Russia    
Kuznetsk Alatau State Nature Reserve 1020298 Kemerovo, Russia
Lake Superior Provincial Park IV 351011 Ontario, Canada
Lake Torne Area Biosphere Reserve 238457 Sweden  
Lapland State Nature Reserve 688028 Murmansk, Russia
Laplandskiy Biosphere Reserve 757114 Russia  
Lazovsky Zapovednik Ia 299030 Primorsky Krai, Russia
Limestone Coast of South West Wales/ Arfordir Calchfaen de Orllewin Cymru 3940 Wales, United Kingdom  
Long Point Biosphere Reserve 100325 Ontario, Canada  
Magadan State Nature Reserve 2183959 Magadan, Russia
Malaya Sozva Zapovednik Ia 557376 Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve 293047 British Columbia, Canada  
Nahanni National Park Reserve II 1309627 Northwest Territories, Canada
Nenetsk State Nature Reserve 774428 Nenets, Russia
Neusiedler See-Osterreichischer Teil   Austria      
Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve 470167 Ontario, Canada  
Noatak Biosphere Reserve 7500143 Alaska, United States  
North-east Greenland National Park II 237590314 Greenland
Nyzhnesvirsky Nature Reserve 102833 Leningrad, Russia
Okskiy Biosphere Reserve 190748 Russia  
Olympic Biosphere Reserve II 922805 Washington, United States
Ostrov Vrangelya (Wrangel Island) Zapovednik Nature Monument III 180 Russia    
Plymouth Sound and Estuaries 15820 England, United Kingdom
Poronaisky State Nature Reserve 140096 Sakhalin, Russia
Pribaikalsky National Park 1031171 Irkutsk, Russia
Prince Albert National Park II 976762 Saskatchewan, Canada
Pukaskwa National Park II 459860 Ontario, Canada
Puszcza Kampinoska Biosphere Reserve 188373 Poland  
Putoransky State Nature Reserve 4663499 Evenki, Taimyr, Russia
Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary Migratory Bird Sanctuary IV 15335601 Nunavut, Canada
Quttinirpaaq (Ellesmere Island) National Park Reserve II 9436606 Nunavut, Canada
Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park National Marine Conservation Area II 310822 Canada
Shulgantash State Nature Reserve 55675 Shulgan-Tash, Russia
Shushensky Bor National Park 96791 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve 991950 Primorsky Krai, Russia
Sikhote-Alinskiy Biosphere Reserve 978001 Russia  
Sirmilik National Park II 5475284 Canada
Sokhondinskiy Biosphere Reserve Ia 521363 Chita, Russia
South Hams 320 England, United Kingdom  
St. Kilda National Nature Reserve   Scotland, United Kingdom    
Taimyrsky Biosphere Reserve Ia 4403240 Taimyr, Russia
Tawas Point State Park 183 Michigan, United States
Trans-Baikal National Park 660209 Buryatia, Russia
Tsentral'no-Sibirskiy Biosphere Reserve Ia 2521510 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Tunkinsky National Park 2924892 Buryatia, Russia
Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina (Ubsunur Depression) Zapovednik Ia 798640 Tuva, Russia
Ujscie Wisly 4320 Poland  
Ust-Lensky State Nature Reserve 3541020 Sakha, Russia
Verkhne-Tazovsky State Nature Reserve 1564938 Yamalo-Nenets, Russia
Vodlozersky National Park 1157293 Karelia, Arkhangelsk, Russia    
Voyageurs National Park II 177960 Minnesota, United States
Walker Bay Field Station   Nunavut, Canada  
Wapusk National Park II 2614324 Manitoba, Canada
Waterton Biosphere Reserve II 121459 Alberta, Canada
Wood Buffalo National Park II 11038545 Alberta, Canada
Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve 5499701 Chukotka, Russia    
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Ib 2476446 Alaska, United States
Yugansky State Nature Reserve 1602814 Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
Yugyd Islands National Park 4674495 Komi, Russia
Yuzhno-Uralsky State Nature Reserve 624742 Chelyabinsk, Bashkortostan, Russia
Zeya State Nature Reserve 245697 Amur, Russia


Important Bird Areas

BirdLife Species Factsheet: View Factsheet
Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Alta-Kautokeino watercourse Norway B2
Frostviken Sweden A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C6
Hardangervidda Norway A1, A4i, B1i, B2, B3
Käsivarsi fjelds Finland A3, B2, B3, C2, C6
Lake Tjålmejaure-Laisdalen valley Sweden A3, B2, C6
Lapland Biosphere Reserve Russia (European) A3, A4i, B1i, B2, B3
Middle reaches of Bolshaya Rogovaya river Russia (European) A1, A3, B2
Påkketan Sweden B2, C6
Ponoiskaya depression Russia (European) A1, A3, A4i, B1i, B2
Seven islands Russia (European) A4iii, B1i, B2, B3  
Sjaunja Sweden A1, A3, B2, C1, C6
South coast of Germania Land, and Slaedelandet Greenland (to Denmark) A3, B1i, B2
Taavavuoma Sweden A3, B2, C6
Torna: Shoina watershed Russia (European) A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3
Varangerfjord Norway A1, A3, A4i, A4iii, B1i
Vindelfjällen mountains (including Lake Tärnasjön) Sweden A3, B2, C6
Yugyd Va Russia (European) A1, A3, B1i, B2

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Japan Japan No

Emblem of

Northwest Territories

Prey / Diet

Asio flammeus (Short-eared Owl)[7]
Buteo lagopus (Rough-legged Hawk)[7]
Calcarius lapponicus (Lapland Longspur)[7]
Centrocercus urophasianus (Sage Grouse)[8]
Clangula hyemalis (Oldsquaw)[7]
Falco peregrinus (Peregrine Falcon)[7]
Falco rusticolus (Gyrfalcon)[7]
Fratercula arctica (Atlantic Puffin)[8]
Fulmarus glacialis (Northern Fulmar)[8]
Lagopus lagopus (Willow Ptarmigan)[8]
Lagopus leucura (White-tailed Ptarmigan)[9]
Lagopus muta (Rock Ptarmigan)[8]
Larus canus (Mew Gull)[7]
Lepus americanus (Snowshoe Hare)[9]
Lepus arcticus (Arctic Hare)[10]
Phalaropus lobatus (Red-necked Phalarope)[7]
Rissa tridactyla (Black-legged Kittiwake)[7]
Somateria mollissima (Common Eider)[8]
Somateria spectabilis (King Eider)[8]
Uria aalge (Common Murre)[8]
Urocitellus parryii (Arctic ground squirrel)[9]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Accipiter gentilis (Northern Goshawk)1
Aquila chrysaetos (Golden Eagle)6
Bubo scandiacus (Snowy Owl)1
Buteo hemilasius (Upland Buzzard)1
Buteo lagopus (Rough-legged Hawk)2
Canis latrans (Coyote)4
Canis lupus (Wolf)4
Gulo gulo (Wolverine)1
Lynx canadensis (lynx)4
Martes americana (American Marten)1
Mustela erminea (Ermine)1
Mustela frenata (Long-tailed Weasel)1
Mustela nivalis (Least Weasel)1
Strix nebulosa (Great Grey Owl)1
Ursus arctos (Grizzly Bear)2
Vulpes lagopus (Arctic Fox)2
Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)5


Aquila chrysaetos (Golden Eagle)[7]
Falco rusticolus (Gyrfalcon)[7]


Parasitized by 
Ceratophyllus vagabundus vagabundus[11]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Al Ain Zoo
Grand Parc Du Puy Du Fou
Kyiv Zoological Park
Monde Sauvage Safari SPRL
Moscow Zoological Park
Parc Paradisio S.A.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Rostock Zoologischer Garten
The Hawk Conservancy
The Raptor Foundation
Trotter's World of Animals
Zoo de la Bourbansais
Zoo de Santillana y Parque Cuaternario

Range Map

Azas Zapovednik; Europe & Northern Asia (excluding China); North America; Ukkusiksalik National Park;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Brown, L., and D. Amadon. 1968. Eagles, hawks, and falcons of the world. McGraw-Hill, New York.
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
6Alaska Wildlife Notebook Series, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
7Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
8POTAPOV, E. 2011. Gyrfalcon diet: Spatial and temporal variation In R. T. Watson, T. J. Cade, M. Fuller, G. Hunt, and E. Potapov (Eds.). Gyrfalcons and Ptarmigan in a Changing World. The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, USA
9Exploring the Denali Food Web, ParkWise, National Park Service
10Lepus arcticus, Troy L. Best and Travis Hill Henry, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 457, pp. 1-9 (1994)
11International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Specially protected natural territories of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
Ramsar Sites Information Service
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Tawas Point State Park
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access