The peregrine falcon takes the first place in the list of the fastest birds. It is this inconspicuous bird that can move at a speed of approximately 389 kilometers per hour, which (for comparison) significantly exceeds the speed of free fall of paratroopers.
It is this fastest bird in the world that can give odds to many animals, while the peregrine falcon can be found on absolutely all continents except Antarctica. Its main feature is that it can develop such a huge speed, only diving from a height.
Peregrine Falcon Dimensions
In appearance, this is the fastest bird in the world no larger than a crow, in addition, it has a gray plumage, which on the abdomen becomes light gray, and the head is always black.
The peregrine falcon survives thanks to a peculiar hunting technique, which consists in diving from a height on its victim and knocking it down with the kick of its paws. The speed with which the peregrine falcon does this can easily lead to its knocking over the head of poor prey.
In fact, the bird, which will be discussed later, can calmly take the first place of this peculiar speed rating.
The main reason for this is that the peregrine Falcon develops enormous speed when it “falls” from heaven, but the flight speed of the swift is huge in the horizontal plane.
It can reach speeds of more than 170 kilometers per hour. One can meet such a miracle only in North or Central Asia, as well as in Central Europe. His wintering bird spends in Africa or in India. Now the natural habitat of its habitat is the city, and much less often this applies to forests.
The appearance of the swift
The swift has a size even smaller than the peregrine falcon, and weighs only 50-150 grams.
The black swift is the fastest. It has a plumage of a dark brown shade with a barely noticeable metallic tint. It can easily be confused with a swallow, because these species of birds are quite similar, especially when viewed from above.
The peculiarity of the swift is that literally several centuries ago it could be eaten, arguing that the meat is quite tasty.
If this gastronomic peculiarity is not taken into account, there is another curious fact: the swifts spend almost all their time in the air. In the most literal sense of the word. Departing eight weeks after birth from the nest, it lands approximately 3 years later. With the condition that his paws are very short and his fingers are directed only forward, it is quite difficult to independently fly off the ground, but it is possible. All you need is a few very strong flapping wings and at least a slight elevation in order to make it easier to take off. The wings themselves are disproportionately large, if they are nevertheless compared with the size of the body itself.
Long, curved-shaped wings and a perfectly streamlined body, a flat head, as well as a short neck - all these aerodynamic features allow the swift to even sleep in the air. Being at an altitude of up to 3 thousand meters in a flock, he simply flies in a circle and falls asleep, while he wakes up every 5 seconds in order to once again flap his wings and not fall.
This fastest bird on earth can fly about 500 thousand kilometers in its entire life, while landing only a few times in its life just to breed.
Swallow and Swift: differences
Earlier it was said that the swift can be very much like a swallow in its appearance. But still, their most important difference is the flight speed - the Swift develops a speed of about 170 kilometers per hour, and the swallow only 60 kilometers per hour. Nevertheless, a swift cannot be better in terms of maneuverability of flight than a swallow. The bird of this species also differs from the swift in the structure of its legs - in the swift, four fingers are turned forward, and in the swallows - three forward and one back. That is why they can sit on telegraph wires and it is easy to hold there, but the swift doesn’t exactly succeed.
Swifts have a dark abdomen, and swallows have white. At the same time, in flight, the first bird species is distinguished by its excessive loudness and never folds its wings. In addition, the swift is larger than the swallow.
Bird flight speed
The third fastest in this ranking is the gray-headed albatross. It is larger than its predecessors, because it has a wingspan of 3.5 meters. Due to the fact that the albatross can not make such a quick dive or constantly live in the air, he is distinguished by his stamina.
It is he who can fly at a speed of 130 kilometers per hour for eight hours. Although he is not the fastest bird in the world, he is in the Guinness Book of Records in connection with his amazing features.
Gaga is a bird from the family of ducks that can reach speeds of up to about one hundred kilometers per hour. Moreover, it can withstand long flights, although it does not rise high into the sky, because its main food is in the water - mollusks, worms, small fish. That is why the eider is not only a fast bird, but also an excellent diver.
The next in the ranking of the fastest birds in the world will be the carrier pigeon. This species has proven itself in various conditions - both in peacetime and during hostilities. That is why the pigeon needs to be given due respect.
Its flight speed ranges from 90 to 100 kilometers per hour. Pigeons are much more durable than albatrosses - individual individuals can be in the air for more than 16 hours.
Starling is an inconspicuous bird with a pleasant singing voice, it also established itself as an excellent flyer. Starlings can reach speeds of approximately 70 kilometers per hour, and they are found on every continent of our planet.
Also, the speed of 70 kilometers per hour can develop and thrush. It is widespread throughout Europe and Asia, and its voice and unusual plumage always attract a lot of attention.
Dive flight leader
Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on Earth. It can be found anywhere in the world, with the exception of Antarctica.
The size of the falcon is not very different from the usual crow. The representative of the falconry family with a black head, gray plumage and a light gray abdomen is truly worthy of the title "the fastest creature in the world." According to measurements, when diving, the peregrine Falcon develops a speed of up to 322 km / h. Agree, not every vehicle will succeed.
It is very interesting to watch the falcon hunt. He plans in the sky in search of another prey. Having chosen the appropriate victim, he rises, after which he flies down with incredible speed, striking the chosen “candidate” with his paws pressed to the body. The collision is so great that even a fairly large victim can lose his head.
The fastest bird in horizontal flight
The black swift became the record holder in such a flight. Without diving, the flight speed of these birds reaches 160 kilometers per hour.
Despite the fact that the Peregrine Falcon is considered the fastest bird on the planet, it will need 1.5 times more time to fly from one point to another than a small swift. Black or tower swifts fly so fast due to their small body size and light weight.
The main habitat of these birds is Asia and central Europe, but they winter in India or Africa. Swifts are found mainly in settlements and rarely live in wild forests.
The fastest land bird
Do you know which largest bird, moreover, is also one of the fastest? Of course, this is an ostrich. If the birds feel the danger, they are able to accelerate to 70 km / h, the step width when running is 4-5 m. The growth of the ostrich reaches 2.5 meters with a weight of 150 kg.
An ostrich is a flightless bird with a dense physique, an elongated neck, large beautiful eyes and long fluffy eyelashes. What else is characteristic of ostriches? A large beak of large size, underdeveloped wings, strong hind limbs, thanks to which they run at such a speed. Despite the fact that the plumage is equally evenly distributed throughout the body, there is a bare area on the chest, it is on it that the ostrich rests, lying on the ground. The main difference between females and males is size and color. Males have a brighter plumage, and their size is slightly larger. These rat-free flightless birds inhabit Africa, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The largest bird in the world, whose photos look pretty funny, is found in the desert steppes and savannahs. They live in families consisting of a male, several females and cubs. They can graze with other animals, warning them of a possible danger.
Ostriches feed on plants, less often insects, rodents or reptiles. Young chicks are fed only animal food. These birds have no teeth, so they have to swallow stones to chop food.
Males only pair with alpha females. The male pit rakes a pit with eggs laid by all the females. Hatching the chicks is the work of the “dad”, the dominant female only bury eggs in the sand. Since eggs can be left unattended for a long time during the day, most chicks die. Having been born, chicks already on the second day go in search of food. Ostriches live from 65 to 75 years.
The largest bird of prey in the world
The harpy rightfully deserves this title. In nature, there are three harpies: Guiana, New Guinea and the largest South American in the world. The distance between the spread wings of this predator reaches 220 cm, it weighs about 12 kg. Harpy lives in the tropics of America.
The main weapon of the harpy is sharp claws, up to 13 centimeters in length. This beauty is able to see a coin at a distance of 200 meters. These large birds can be considered killing machines, because they can accelerate to 80 km / h.
Today, less than 50 thousand individuals remain in the world, therefore this species of birds is under protection.
The largest wingspan in birds
Many birds live in the world, one of the main characteristics that distinguish them is the wingspan. Scientists have long been interested in records, let's talk about birds with the largest distance between spread wings.
The record-holder in terms of wingspan became a unique seabird, reaching 117-centimeter length. The average duration of a wandering albatross is 10-30 years. The wingspan of muscular wings reaches 363 centimeters, which is 3 times more than its body.
The Tristan da Cunha archipelago, located in the southern Atlantic Ocean, is inhabited by a Tristan albatross with a wingspan of 350 centimeters, which makes it wonderful to plan in the sky. The plumage of the Tristan albatross is very similar to the wandering albatross. Today, this species is on the verge of extinction.
Another major albatross representative is the Amsterdam albatross. The distance between spreading wings is only 10 centimeters shorter than that of the Tristan albatross. These beauties live exclusively on the Amsterdam Islands. There are approximately 100 individuals left in the world, so they are classified as an endangered species.
10. Dive | speed 116 km / h| speed 116 km / h
Dive - A large waterfowl opens the ranking of the fastest birds on the planet. With a body length of 48 to 56 cm and a mass of up to 1.5 kg, the dive is capable of speeds in air of up to 116 km / h. Its flight is characterized by ease and longer duration among others from the family of ducks. In addition, the duck runs pretty fast and swims well. This species is widespread in Central, Central Asia and Western Siberia. These birds prefer to settle near fresh reservoirs overgrown with reeds. The main food for the dive is seeds, aquatic plants, mollusks, and also fish.
9. White-breasted American Swift | speed 124 km / h| speed 124 km / h
White-breasted American Swift with a horizontal flight speed of 124 km / h, it is on the ninth line in the rating of the fastest birds in the world. These are small birds that look like swallows, are widespread in Europe, North Africa and Asia. Rocky terrain is chosen for habitation, but can also exist in urban environments. The main food of the white-breasted American swift is the insects that it catches in flight. Most of their lives are spent in the air and prefer not to twist their nests, but to settle in other people's homes - swifts and swallows.
8. Medium Merganser | speed 129 km / h| speed 129 km / h
Merganser Belongs to the family of ducks and is considered one of the fastest birds in the world. In flight, the duck can pick up speed up to 129 km / h. Medium merganser is quite large - its body length can reach half a meter, and weight –1.3 kg. Like others from the family of ducks, this species can swim and dive well. You can meet the average merganser in North America and Eurasia. For habitat, he chooses flowing lakes and rivers, where he feeds on fish, frogs, insects and worms.
7. Spur goose | speed 142 km / h| speed 142 km / h
Spur goose is one of the fastest birds in the world, which is capable of speeds in flight up to 142 km / h. This species belongs to the family of ducks and has a fairly large size: in length it can reach 1 meter, and in body weight it gains up to 6 kg. Males are larger than females. The spur goose pretty well and nimbly runs on the ground, and in the manner of movement resembles a heron. It is common in South America, in particular in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa and prefers to settle next to freshwater bodies of water. As a food, these geese prefer aquatic and coastal plants, as well as insects and small fish.
6. Gray-headed albatross | speed 147 km / h| speed 147 km / h
Gray-headed Albatross with dimensions of 81 cm in length and a wingspan of 2 meters, it can gain speed in airspace up to 147 km / h. For a very long time, it has been able to stay in flight and for its entire life covers vast distances, enveloping the globe several times. Its habitat is the islands of the Southern Ocean. Gray-headed albatrosses feed mainly on squid, fish and shellfish. They can dive to a depth of 7 m to get food.
5. Frigate | speed of 150 km / h| speed of 150 km / h
Frigate is one of the fastest flyers in the world, which picks up speed up to 150 km / h. Most frigates prefer to fly in the air without moving their wings. They have rather long and narrow wings, the span of which can reach 2.5 m. With an increase of 1.1 m in length in body weight, they can reach 1.5 kg. Skillful flyers move rather awkwardly and cannot swim. A distinctive feature of the male is an inflatable red throat bag with which he lures the female. These birds have chosen the habitat of the islands of the tropical and subtropical zones. They can be found in Australia and Polynesia. Since the frigates themselves do not know how to swim, they prey on flying fish, or take prey from water birds.
4. Cheglok | speed 160 km / h| speed 160 km / h
Cheglock - a small bird of prey of the falcon family is one of the fastest birds in the world in terms of flight speed. With a wingspan of 80 cm, the cheglock is capable of speeds up to 160 km / h. Outwardly, it looks like a peregrine Falcon, but differs in size, which are 28-36 cm. The flaps of its wings are fast and maneuverable, alternate with glide, acquiring the shape of a sickle.Summer is widespread throughout the continent of Eurasia and prefers to settle in forests and forest-steppe zones. Since it is a predator, it feeds on small birds, as well as large insects - beetles, butterflies and dragonflies. Less often, mice and other small animals become his delicacy.
3. Needletail Swift | speed of 170 km / h| speed of 170 km / h
Needletail Swift opens the top three fastest birds in the world. With a wingspan of 55 cm, a flyer of the Swift family is capable of gaining speed in a horizontal flight of 170 km / h. The length of his body reaches 22 cm, and the weight is about 150 g. Needle swifts can be found in South Asia, the Far East and Siberia. For the settlement, they choose groves and forests near ponds. The peculiarity of these flyers is that they never land on the ground.
2. Golden Eagle | speed 320 km / h| speed 320 km / h
Golden eagle - One of the fastest flyers, capable of picking up speed in flight up to 320 km / h. This is a bird of prey, which belongs to the hawk family. The length of the body of an eagle can reach 1 meter, and its mass is from 3 to 7 kg. Its wingspan varies between 2–2.4 m. In search of prey, hunters are able to soar high in the sky for a long time, while their activity remains minimal. Their movements in the air are light and maneuverable. Having noticed the prey, the golden eagle is rapidly gaining speed and rushes to the prey. The predator chooses birds, rodents, hares as a sacrifice. He can also profit from a large, sick prey in the form of roe deer, deer, sheep and calves. The habitat of the golden eagle is quite wide and includes most of the Holarctic, Alaska, Canada, Scotland, the Caucasus, etc. It can also be found throughout the forest zone of Russia.
1. Peregrine Falcon | speed 350 km / h| speed 350 km / h
Peregrine falcon - The fastest flyer on planet Earth. The bird of prey belongs to the falcon family and has the widest habitat - all continents, excluding Antarctica. Its wingspan during flight is 1.1 m. When diving, prey develops a speed of up to 350 km / h, per minute this distance is about 1 km. The body of an adult peregrine falcon can reach half a meter in length, and a bird can gain in weight up to 1 kg. He loves to hunt medium-sized birds - pigeons, blackbirds, starlings and ducks. Sometimes small mammals can become its victims. For habitat, the hunter chooses inaccessible places for humans - these are most often the rocky shores of reservoirs.
Chizh - 60 km / h
A small bird, famous for sonorous singing and fast addiction to captivity. They are found in forest areas of Europe and Asia. Rarely descends to the ground, preferring the tops of trees. The appearance resembles a yellow sparrow. At home contain to enjoy pleasant trills.
Common Kestrel - 63 km / h
The distribution area is Central Europe, where flat reliefs stretch. A distant relative of the peregrine falcon, when hunting falls from above on rodents. Prefers to fly slowly or replace a quick glide flight. Sometimes it hovers, hovering in the sky, making wings often “vibrating” flapping. If necessary, folds them or does not fully disclose, is able to move unconsciously.
Swallows - 65 km / h
Inhabit everywhere except the Far North, the steppe belt is considered favorable for life. Some people confuse them with swifts, but it's not difficult to notice the differences. The wings of the swallow are much wider, a long tail with a forked “fork”. In motion, they often change flight direction, are distinguished by clever maneuverability.
Mountain thrush - 70 km / h
It nests in areas with forest vegetation up to the steppe strip, as well as in Siberia. It differs from its counterparts in atypical plumage, voluminous size, flock colonies of up to 40 pairs and a love of mountain ash. Every winter migrates to warmer climes. It is protected from enemies by its own droppings, firing at possible danger. Serious damage is caused due to the enzyme - the wings of other birds stick together.
Skvorets - 70 km / h
Found on almost all continents. The first to arrive in the spring from the southern countries. Males help females raise chicks: feed offspring, teach flights. They do not make permanent nests, waiting for the plumage of the young, they gather in a flock and circle in search of food.
Teal whistle - 90 km / h
It is found in the northern and temperate climates of Eurasia, including on Russian lands. Small size. It differs from other ducks by its sharp and narrow wings. Settles along the coast, feeds more often from water bodies. A teal whistle not only flies quickly, but also without unnecessary noise.
Dupel - 100 km per hour
Perhaps this is not the fastest bird in the world. However, to leave her unattended is simply impossible. An authoritative Swiss publication considers this bird the fastest of all the migrants. She flies from Switzerland to Central Africa in a few days. Such a distance the most hardy hollows fly in 3.5-4 days, given that the average speed of their flight is 100 km per hour. During the flight, the birds practically do not rest, in addition, tailwinds do not always help their flights, therefore, they often overcome such a long way only because of their endurance.
Canvas Dive - 117 km per hour
Sailing duck - a beautiful diving duck. An elegant and aristocratic canvas dive lives in North America and is able to dive to a depth of 9 meters. In addition, the bird is a true master of flight. Their wingspan reaches 87 cm, and the maximum speed in the air is 120 km per hour. This is a migratory bird. They begin to migrate at the beginning of winter towards the Great Lakes, located between the borders of the USA and Canada. Fly in the shape of the letter "V" during migration.
Average Merganser - 130 km per hour
Great lakes, swamps, and wetlands in Northern Canada are the main breeding sites for medium merganser. To attract the female, the male stretches his neck and makes a purr. A female bird lays up to 10 eggs at a time. The duck eats fish, crab and shrimp. During the flight from America to Canada, birds develop a maximum speed of 130 km per hour.
Common Spur Goose - 141 km per hour
Spur goose is a large bird from under the family of ducks, lives in the wetlands of Africa. These birds have long legs, making them look like storks. Before rising into the air, the Spur geese must scatter their feet in the swamp. Only after this the bird picks up speed. Despite their usual appearance, these birds masterfully maneuver in the sky. The common Spur goose is the fastest bird of the duck family. With a maximum speed of 141 km per hour, the bird quickly overcomes distances and finds new swamps for living.
Hummingbird - 150 km per hour
And although these are not the fastest birds, miniature hummingbirds are better than others who know how to maneuver in the air. Only these birds can move vertically up and down, forward and backward. As scientists noted, the hummingbird begins to fly even before it leaves the branch. During short flights, the hummingbird speed can reach up to 150 km per hour.
Needletail Swift - 168 km per hour
This is one of the fastest flying birds capable of speeds up to 170 km per hour. These birds have very short legs, which they use only to cling to vertical surfaces. They build their nests in crevices of rocks, in rocks themselves or in hollows of trees. They never settle voluntarily on the ground and spend most of their lives in the air, eating insects that are caught in their beaks.
Gyrfalcon - 209 km per hour
Gyrfalcons are known for their fast diving and long pointed wings. This bird is the largest falcon in the world. They fly up from above to catch prey from high altitudes. During fishing, the maximum speed of the gyrfalcon can reach 209 km per hour. Gyrfalcons skillfully increase or decrease speed by changing the position of their wings. They feed mainly on flying birds, killing prey by their beaks right in flight.
Golden Eagle - 320 km per hour
This powerful eagle is the largest bird of prey in North America and the national bird of Mexico. These birds are dark brown, with a lighter golden brown plumage on the heads and neck. They are extremely fast and can dive on their prey at a speed of more than 320 km per hour. Golden Eagles use their speed and sharp claws to grab rabbits, groundhogs and ground squirrels. They also feed on carrion, reptiles, birds, fish, small animals and large insects. It is known that they even attack an adult deer.
Peregrine Falcon - 380 km per hour
Peregrine Falcons dive from great heights and at extreme speeds while hunting. These predators create high aerodynamic forces that allow them to perform precise maneuvers in the air and catch clever prey. Peregrine Falcon is the fastest diving bird in the world and the fastest animal on the planet. According to the Guinness Book of Records, in 2005 a movement was recorded at a speed of more than 380 km per hour during flights.