Falcons and Caracaras (Falconidae)

Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) - HBW 2, p. 274

French: Faucon gerfaut German: Gerfalke Spanish: Halcón Gerifalte
Other common names: Gyr, Jerfalcon

Taxonomy: Falco rusticolus Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms superspecies with F. cherrug, and perhaps also F. biarmicus and F. jugger and possibly even F. mexicanus. Taxonomy very complicated; usually considered monotypic, but highly polymorphic. Sometimes considered polytypic, normally with four races, based mainly on colour frequencies: rusticolus (Europe); obsoletus (Asia, parts of North America); candicans (high Arctic of North America, Greenland); and finally islandus (Iceland), the most isolated, uniform and distinctive of these forms, which would probably be most valid race. Morph .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Falco rusticolus Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms superspecies with F. cherrug, and perhaps also F. biarmicus and F. jugger and possibly even F. mexicanus. Taxonomy very complicated; usually considered monotypic, but highly polymorphic. Sometimes considered polytypic, normally with four races, based mainly on colour frequencies: rusticolus (Europe); obsoletus (Asia, parts of North America); candicans (high Arctic of North America, Greenland); and finally islandus (Iceland), the most isolated, uniform and distinctive of these forms, which would probably be most valid race. Morph altaicus of F. cherrug has been listed as race of present species; also considered to form link between these two species. Monotypic.

Distribution: Circumpolar, occupying Arctic regions of Eurasia, North America, Greenland and Iceland; some birds move farther S for winter.

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