The fastest dive by a bird is that of a peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), which has been estimated as reaching a terminal velocity of approximately 300 km/h (186 mph) when in a diving stoop. A bird's velocity is necessarily variable; a hunting bird will reach much greater speeds while diving to catch prey than when gliding.

Using a physics-based computer simulation, researchers in the Netherlands and the UK have explained why the raptors have evolved an attack strategy that puts extreme physical and cognitive demands on them. Powerful and fast-flying, the Peregrine Falcon hunts medium-sized birds, dropping down on them from high above in a spectacular stoop. The Peregrine Falcon diet consists mainly of medium-sized birds. Powerful and fast-flying, the Peregrine Falcon hunts medium-sized birds, dropping down on them from high above in a spectacular stoop. The actual speed that a peregrine reaches in a stoop will be effected by the wind speed and duration of the dive, which will vary in every situation. One of the greatest conservation success stories. Peregrine falcons are the fastest creatures on the planet, reaching speeds of over 321 kph (200 mph) as they dive to catch their prey. Peregrine Falcon’s eyesight is 8 times better than humans.

In a vertical dive after prey, called a "stoop," the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world. The peregrine falcon is a widely distributed raptor, or bird of prey, found on every continent except Antarctica. The bird with the greatest airspeed velocity is the Peregrine falcon, able to exceed 320 km/h (200 mph) in its hunting dives. The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) is one of the world’s fastest birds.During horizontal flight, it reaches velocities of up to 150 km h −1 (, ) and even more than 320 km h −1 when nose-diving to attack its bird prey (e.g. Yet as much as the Peregrine is a paragon, it’s also an enigma. They are found to eat 1,500 to 2,000 bird species. The peregrine falcon is best known for its diving speed during flight —which can reach more than 300 km (186 miles) per hour—making it not only the world’s fastest bird but also the world’s fastest animal. When it comes to hunting on the fly, nothing beats the Peregrine Falcon. They are also one of the most adaptable and can thrive in urban areas surrounded by humans. Peregrine falcons may well be the fastest hunters in the animal kingdom. Think about this. Peregrine falcons have one extra lid in the eye which protects their eyes during very fast speed diving from the sky. At this point the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal. Peregrine Falcons hunt from high in the air above land or water. A peregrine falcon can dive up to 200 miles (323 kilometers) an hour to capture prey in flight, striking in midair with its outstretched talons, or claws. This is a list of the fastest flying birds in the world.

They were virtually eradicated from eastern North America by pesticide poisoning in the middle 20th century. Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). At this point the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal. Because of its habit of preying on waterfowl, the peregrine falcon has historically been referred to as the duck hawk.



Peregrines usually hunt with either a swift chase or a fast dive. Peregrine falcons dive from great heights and at extreme speeds when hunting to generate high aerodynamic forces that enable them to execute precise manoeuvres and catch agile prey.

By folding its wings in to minimize drag, the boomerang-shaped birds can hurtle thousands of feet through the air at speeds of close to 200 miles per hour— an unparalleled maneuver in the animal kingdom.

Here’s a video of a Peregrine diving and killing a duck, shot with a camera mounted on the falcon’s back. By folding its wings in to minimize drag, the boomerang-shaped birds can hurtle thousands of feet through the air at speeds of close to 200 miles per hour—an unparalleled maneuver in the animal kingdom. The male peregrine falcons are much smaller than the females; many times males are about 3 times smaller. After significant recovery efforts, Peregrine Falcons have made an incredible rebound and are now regularly seen in many large cities and coastal areas.


Kenneth W. Fink/Root Resources After significant recovery efforts, Peregrine Falcons have made an incredible rebound and are now regularly seen in many large cities and coastal areas.

FWS Photo.


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