Why Study Gyrfalcons
- Gyrfalcons are the world’s largest falcon species. They prey on ptarmigans, arctic ground squirrels, and snowshoe hares.
- Unlike most of Denali’s birds, gyrfalcons live in the park year-round. Gyrfalcons lay their eggs in March, requiring them to care for young in freezing temperatures and frequent snow storms.
- Because gyrfalcons live in remote areas, little is known about their ecology.
Research in the Park
Denali scientists are studying the population, habitat, and reproductive success of gyrfalcons in the park. Satellite tracking has been used to monitor the movement of young gyrfalcons.
McIntyre CL and Others. 2009. Movements of Juvenile Gyrfalcons from Western and Interior Alaska Following Departure from Their Natal Areas. Journal of Raptor Research. 43(2):99-109
McIntyre C. 2008. Monitoring Occupancy of Nesting Areas and Reproductive Success of Golden Eagles in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Fairbanks, AK