On occasion, falcon was hunted and consumed in winter by Nuvorugmiut (Inuvialuit) . Other cultures, including the Red Earth Cree, regarded the eating of falcon to be taboo .
Peregrine Falcons are reported to have been hunted and consumed by the Hare (Sahtu), who cooked them by boiling, frying in lard, fire-grilling or roasting . The Gyrfalcon is reported to have been eaten by Nuvorugmiut. Bering Strait cultures usually ate these birds fire-roasted or boiled, the latter being the most common method .
Falcons were sometimes hunted for their prized feathers. In the North, special arrows called bird bolts were commonly decorated with two falcon feathers . The feathers of Gyrfalcons were used in arrows and spears and were valuable trading items . The skin of a Peregrine Falcon was also used by some cultures. Plains cultures and Arikara were known to stuff the skins with grass or hemp to fashion ceremonial medicine bundles; these were said to have special healing powers . The mighty falcon is also a common character in Arctic legends. These stories tell of the falcon’s important relationship with humans .
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Falcons are compact, fast flying birds of prey that hunt during the day. Like other birds of prey, they have a hooked beak to tear flesh, strong legs with sharp talons to grasp their prey, and very keen eye sight. Unlike eagles and hawks, falcons have long, narrow, and pointed wings . In North America, falcons include the medium-sized, darker Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), breeding from the tundra to the tropics in a variety of habitats , and the larger and paler Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) restricted to the arctic and subarctic regions of northern Canada .
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