(syn. Falco Ϯ Gyr Falcon F. rusticolus) Gr. ἱερος hieros  sacred (cf. ἱεραξ hierax, ἱερακος hierakos  hawk); Late L. falco, falconis  falcon  < L. flectere  to curve. In ancient Egypt the religious cult of Horus, the sky god, was devoted to the worship of birds of prey, especially falcons.  The mummified remains of at least thirty different species of vultures, hawks, eagles and falcons have been found in tombs, but not those of the Gyr Falcon!; "LES GERFAULTS. (HIEROFALCO. Cuv.) (3).  ...  On n'en connait bien qu'une espèce.  Le Gerfault. (Falco candicans, F. cinereus et F. sacer, Gm.) Buff., enl. 210, 456, 462, et Hist des Ois., I, pl. xiv. Edw., 53.  ...  (3) Hierax, hiero-falco, faucon sacré, sacre, tous noms tenant à l'ancienne vénération des Égyptiens pour certains oiseaux de proie. Gerfault est corrompu d'hiero-falco." (Cuvier 1817); "Hierofalco Cuvier, Règne Anim., 1, 1817, (1816), p. 312. Type, by monotypy, Falco candicans Gmelin. [= Falco rusticolus]" (Peters 1931, 1, 284).    Var. Jerafalco.

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Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2019). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2019). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com on 21 January 2019).