Iceland Mag

5 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Birds

Farmer catches video of gyrfalcon feasting on a duck

By Staff

  • Not bothered by the audience Svartárkot farm is on the northern edge of the Central Highlands. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below.

Last weekend a farmer in North Iceland caught a fascinating drone video of a gyrfalcon feasting on a duck. The falcon refused to let the drone disturb his dinner and continued to pick at his catch while the drone hovered around.

The farmer, Magnús Skarphéðinsson, at Svartárkot farm in Bárðardalur, told the local news site 641 that the family had spotted the falcon circling above the farm, holding something big in his claws. Curious to see what the falcon had caught, Magnús sent his drone to follow the falcon. 

When the falcon settled down in the field south of the farm to eat his catch Magnús discovered that the falcon had caught a Barrow's goldeney (Bucephala islandica). "He seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact that he had killed a protected species of duck!" Magnús told 641.

The Barrow's goldeneye is in fact a protected species. The duck's Latin name islandica means Icelandic, a reference to the fact that its only European breeding grounds are in Iceland. While the birds are not considered to be in danger, they are protected in Iceland. The Icelandic name for the bird is húsönd, or house-duck. It is very common in North East Iceland, especially at Lake Mývatn. Svartárkot, where Magnús lives is located south of Mývatn, on the edge of the Central Highlands.

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