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a gyrfalcon
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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old French gerfaucon (modern French gerfaut), with the first element probably from Old High German gīr ‎(vulture) (whence the German Geier).



gyrfalcon ‎(plural gyrfalcons)

  1. (obsolete) Any large falcon, especially as used to fly at herons.
  2. Falco rusticolus, a large bird of prey that breeds on Arctic coasts and islands of North America, Europe and Asia.
    • 2007, Michael Chabon, Gentlemen of the Road, Sceptre 2008, p. 132:
      [...] the usurper Buljan ordered that his sukkah be erected on the donjon's roof, with its [...] relative nearness to the stars, among which his sky-worshiping and uncircumcised ancestors still hunted with infallible gyrfalcons for celestial game.


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