August 25, 2015 – Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)

Requested by: thornsinthyme

These large falcons are found across Canada, Alaska, and the northern United States. They feed mainly on ptarmigans, but also hunt other birds and a variety of land mammals. Females often store food during the breeding season, caching it near their nesting sites. The largest falcons in the world, they measure up to 25 inches (64 cm) in length. When hunting, they fly low to surprise their prey, often pursuing it for long distances until the animal is exhausted. They nest on cliff ledges, using the abandoned nests of other birds.