Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Gyrfalcon, Gerfalcon,

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Gyrfalcon, Gerfalcon,
or Jerfalcon. A native of Iceland and Norway, highest in the list of hawks for falconry. “Gyr,” or “Ger,” is, I think, the Dutch gier, a vulture. It is called the “vulture-falcon” because, like the vulture, its beak is not toothed. The common etymology from hieros, sacred, “because the Egyptians held the hawk to be sacred,” is utterly worthless. Besides Ger-falcons, we have Gier-eagles, Lammer-geiers, etc. (See HAWK.)   1



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