Tag Archives: Falco rusticolus

Hunting Gyrfalcon

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Fálki – Gyrfalcon – Falco rusticolus

A Gyrfalcon  was searching for prey by River Ölfusá yesterday. He flew over a flock of ducks and swans. They did not move and most stayed in the water.

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Soon some Ravens came by and chased the Gyrfalcon away.

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The Ravens are a tough bunch.  This time the Gyrfalcon fled without a morsel to eat.

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Out on the ice

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Fálki – Gyrfalcon – Falco rusticolus

It is always exciting to see a Gyrfalcon, the biggest falcon in the world. Its main food source in Iceland is the Ptarmigan but it also hunts other birds such as ducks, geese and gulls. Last weekend we saw a Gyrfalcon eating a duck far out on the ice on Ellidavatn Lake, just outside Reykjavik.  The Gyrfalcon was shy and not prepared to let a photographer get anywhere near.

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By cropping the photo identification was possible and this time the Gyrfalcon had managed to catch a  male Red-breasted Merganser.

Pursuing a Mallard

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Fálki – Gyrfalcon – Falco rusticolus

I caught sight of this Gyrfalcon over the river yesterday. It is a young bird, probably a male. It is always exciting to see a Gyrfalcon and I was ready with my lens when it passed by at great speed. It was pursuing a Mallard on Ölfusá River, South Iceland. The chase was without the desired result.
Photo taken on Nikon D90, Nikkor 200-500mm, f 5.6, 500mm, 1/1250, ISO 800.

Young Gyrfalcons

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Fálki – Gyrfalcon – Falco rusticolus

The Gyrfalcon is not a common breeding bird in Iceland so seeing one is always a treat. Estimated number of breeding pairs is 300. They are more common in the North but can be spotted all over the country. Their numbers are determined by the numbers of Ptarmigan which is their main food although they hunt most birds.

Gyrfalcon on flight

The two Gyrfalcon siblings that I came across had killed a Pink-footed Goose and were busy eating it. They did not want to leave their prey which made photographing them not to difficult.

The remains of a Pink-footed Goose
The remains of a Pink-footed Goose