The last time we checked in with a gyrfalcon, it was disembowelling its evening meal. But this live cam clip from Canada shows the powerful birds of prey can be quite majestic. 

The video, captured by an camera set up at the Churchill Northern Studies Center to capture the Northern Lights, isn't just a one-off. The falcon has reportedly made the rounds at this spot over a dozen times already. We're not exactly sure why, but all that posing is giving us a great look at a rarely seen bird.

Gyrfalcons are the largest falcon species in the world, and it's actually the females who sport the biggest wingspan: over five feet (1.5 metres)! Living in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of the northern hemisphere, the gyrfalcon survives mainly by feasting on other large birds, but the species will also prey on small mammals like hares and lemmings. 

The birds hunt by scanning the tundra from high above, which could explain this camera-loving bird's perch of choice.

"They're not that common to begin with but they hang out here in the wintertime," assistant director of the center, Heidi den Haan, told CBC. "There's not a lot of height around Churchill. The trees are small so any kind of a tower would be preferable for the bird to sit on."

You can keep an eye out for the avian visitor by watching the live webcam.


Top header image: Joachim S. Müller/Flickr