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