Connecticut has several records of Gyrfalcons. It is the largest falcon in the world, and would stand out considerably compared to the more commonly known Peregrine Falcon. There has not been one in the state for 15 years, and obviously they are very rare here. The photos in this entry are of a falconer's Gyrfalcon that was at Stratford Point last year during the Great Stratford Bird Festival.
They spend their lives primarily in the Arctic and Canada. Some of these far-northern species can be somewhat tough to study, with parts of their life history still an unknown to scientists. Nevertheless, this article was an incredible read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/13791688
The entire life of the Gyrfalcon was apparently very misunderstood as they spend a great deal of time at sea. They travel incredible distances and require a large habitat of ocean and ice. This sort of revelation shows you how much more work needs to be done on countless bird species. Connecticut Audubon Society's Science and Conservation staff works every day to expand the knowledge of our state's habitat and wildlife. This is a terrific, albeit distant, example of what can be found with the proper resources, management, and effort. It is only a matter of time before we can share some of our own amazing discoveries.
Photos © Scott Kruitbosch