Photo by Bill Bowman

Photo by Bill Bowman

"lilli" - gyrfalcon

Why the name?
She was named by her first falconer.

Hatched in 2001, transferred to RCV in 2009.

This female silver morph Gyrfalcon was bred in captivity and is a human imprint. She was being flown by a master falconer out in the western part of the U.S. when she was attacked by a Golden Eagle in 2007. The falconer managed to save the Gyrfalcon, but there was extensive muscle and nerve damage that permanently affected her flight, so she was transferred to become an education bird in 2009.

Gyrfalcons are the largest falcons in the world, a widely distributed Arctic species found in North America, Europe and Asia. The species is under great threat from climate change, as rising temperatures continue to shrink their available habitat.

Lilli is a spectacular and well loved education bird. She is very calm during education presentations, though very loud as she chats constantly with her handler, which makes it harder to hear questions. She is the largest falcon at RCV and has decided that she is in charge - no one has disputed this.

Lilli always gets fed first among the large falcons because any volunteer that dares to do otherwise will be subjected to her raucous and extremely loud complaints.