Arctic Perch – White Gyrfalcon
Limited Edition of 200, 29″ x 21″ – $150.00
Open Edition 13″ x 10″ – $40.00
The largest and most northerly member of the falcon family prefers the rocky coasts of the high arctic. It inhabits some of the most barren and remote regions on earth. In the summer, the diet consists of shore birds, waterfowl, moles, hares, and lemmings. In winter, the menu is almost exclusively ptarmigan. When both birds and mammals experience adverse conditions such as the cyclic crashes in numbers, the gyrfalcon searches southward for food. A few are seen during some winters near Calgary, Alberta, but are indeed a rare visitor. The white morph is sometimes mistaken for a snowy owl because of their colour, poor lighting, or fleeting glimpses of them in the distance.
In the composition, “Arctic Perch,” one perches on a crag. The gyrfalcon is the only falcon that can cover its toes with its belly feathers when perched – a cold weather adaptation. Their domain consists of miles of coastline, snow and windswept waters. From an outcrop, it surveys and plans an attack. The attack is usually a pursuit rather than a dive. The impact is often from beneath surprising the prey and lethal to those in flight. As a result birds are easier prey than animals. The gyrfalcon will wait for a bird, but relies on whatever food is available as life is harder where there is none!