Athropolis HOME   |   Maps   |   Arctic Links   |   Arctic Library
Click to go HOME
From our library of things you should know about the Arctic


It's a Bird, it's a Plane, it's... POW!

Gyrfalcons (juhr-fall-kons) are the most northerly of the falcons, making their home in Arctic Europe, Asia, North America and Greenland. Although some migrate in the coldest winter months, they usually go no further south than the northern USA or central Russia. They prefer open country, and the tundra is ideal.

Once known in Europe as jer-falcons, gerfalcons, Greenland falcons or Iceland falcons, these "raptors" are powerful and agile hunters. Gyrfalcons seldom use the diving tactic of peregrine falcons to catch their prey - they fly at such great speeds that they simply overtake other birds in full flight (their favorite is the Arctic ptarmigan), and snatch them out of the sky!

Such hunting ability made them highly prized by falconers. Gyrfalcons were the falcons of kings - lesser nobles might have peregrine falcons, while servants made do with mere kestrals.

When the Norse first colonized Greenland, gyrfalcons were a valuable "export" and were in great demand by traders who dared to venture out from medieval Europe.

Greenland gyrfalcons were so valuable that, in 1396, just twelve of these birds were enough to free the Duke of Burgundy's son after he was captured by the Saracens during the Crusades and held for ransom. ("Dear Duke: Deliver one dozen unbanded birds in an unmarked cage at midnight, or you'll never see Junior again!")

MORE...
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Birds, Countries/Places
Links: Arctic, Arctic Animals
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

Search for more on this topic...from Athropolis!
(1) Click the button for Web (below) to search the World Wide Web
(2) Click button for
WWW.ATHROPOLIS.COM to search this web site

 
Web WWW.ATHROPOLIS.COM
Icy Cold Jokes | Icy Games | E-mail | Athropolis HOME
Copyright 2005 Athropolis Productions Limited. The content of web sites that this site has links
to is the property of their respective owners, and Athropolis is not responsible for their content.