a large, fierce, strong falcon (Falco rusticolus) of the arctic regions
Origin of gyrfalconMiddle English gerfaucoun ; from Old French girfaucon ; from Frankish an unverified form gerfalko ; from an unverified form ger (OHG gir, hawk), literally , greedy (one) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ĝhī, an unverified form ĝhe- from source gape + an unverified form falko, falcon
A large black, gray, or white falcon (Falco rusticolus) that breeds in Arctic and subarctic regions and sometimes migrates to northern North America and Eurasia. It is highly valued in falconry.
Origin of gyrfalconMiddle English girfaucoun, from Old French girfaut, gerfaucon : Old High German gīr, vulture + Old French faucon, falcon; see falcon.
From Old French gerfaucon (modern French gerfaut), with the first element probably from Old High German gīr (“vulture”) (whence the German Geier).