Birds are the most unique creatures in the world. While every animal is special in its own way, birds are the only ones to have the ability to fly. They have wings which allow them to take long flights and that’s what makes them so different. The birds with short wings that have a pointed shape are supposedly some of the fastest in the world. Over the years, they have truly developed their flight, in a way, so as to adopt to the environment they are living in. In fact, the fastest birds are also the fastest creatures on this earth.
So, let us know about some of the fastest birds in the world!
- Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine falcon comes from the family of Falconidae. It’s binomial name is Falco peregrinus. It’s speed reaches up to 242 mph and it is highly considered to be the fastest bird in the world. In order to hunt its prey, the peregrine falcon flies to enormous heights and as soon as it sees one, it dives to reach even greater heights and kills it. It is a widely found species and can be seen in almost all continents other than Antarctica. Like some of the other bird species, the females here are usually larger than the males. They mostly feed on songbirds, ducks, pigeons and waterfowl.
- Golden Eagle
The golden eagle belongs to the family of Accipitridae and its binomial name is Aquila chrysaetos. Along with being the second fastest bird in the world, it is also the largest raptor in North America. They are mostly dark brown in colour and have a length of around 66 to 102 cm. While diving on their preys, their speed can go up to 200 mph. They have really long and broad wings, with a wingspan of around 2.3 m. Such long wings allow them to stay in the air for quite some time. Also, they have a very sharp eyesight and can locate their prey from great distance. Once it sees its prey, the golden eagle jumps upon it with unbelievable speed leaving no room for escape.
Gyrfalcon belongs to the family of Falconidae. Its binomial name is Falco rusticolus. It is the largest bird of the falcon species and is mostly found in the Arctic and subarctic regions. The bird is known for its speed and agility and at its peak, it can reach up to 130 mph. It can also change its speed, as in, it can increase or decrease its speed into the dive while trying to catch its prey with the help of its broad pointed wings. These falcons are generally all-white to dark brown in colour. Like peregrine falcon, the females here are also larger than the male ones.
- White-throated Needletail Swift
The white-throated needletail swift comes from the family of Apodidae. Its binomial name is Hirundapas caudacutus. It is found in Western Europe as well as in Sweden, Norway and Great Britain. While in horizontal flight, this bird can reach up to 105 mph. These birds like to spend most of their time in the air and are not particularly fond of staying on the ground. Their diet includes flies, bees and beetles. They are mostly greyish-brown in colour. However, the throat is white and there is also a white patch from the tail to the flanks. They weight around 120 gms only and thus can easily stay in the air for a long time.
- Eurasian Hobby
The Eurasian hobby belongs to the family of Falconidae and its binomial name is Falco subbuteo. It is a small little bird with a slim structure and is found mostly in Africa, Asia and Europe. They spend their winters in Central Africa and Southern Asia. Known for their high dives and acrobatic flying movements, they can reach up to a speed of 100 mph. They are generally 20-36 cm long and have a wingspan of 74-84 cm. Their usual diet consists of beetles, grasshoppers, moths and crickets. Their wings are really powerful which helps them to catch their prey while on the move.
Frigatebirds belong to the family of Fregatidae and are found across tropical and subtropical oceans. This bird looks strange at first glance and has a really large wingspan compared to the size of its body. They are one of the fastest birds in the world, stretching up to 95 mph and they can also stay in the air for around a week without a break. They mostly feed on fish and squid and are also known as kleptoparasites for stealing other seabirds’ food. They lay a single egg at one time and only breed every other year. There are a number of living species of frigatebirds such as magnificent frigatebird, Christmas frigatebird, ascension frigatebird, great frigatebird and lesser frigatebird.
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