peregrine falcon

What is the Fastest Bird in the World? A True Speedster!

Are you fascinated by the speed and agility of birds? From graceful swoops and dives to high-speed chases and escapes, these feathered creatures are true masters of the skies. Have you ever wondered what is the fastest bird in the world? The answer may surprise you.

Meet the peregrine falcon, a true speedster that can reach incredible speeds of over 240 miles per hour in a dive. In this blog, we will explore the fascinating world of the peregrine falcon and discover why it is known as the fastest bird in the world.

What is the fastest bird in the world?

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird in the world. It can fly at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour and has been clocked at 240 mph during dives!

These birds were able to accelerate their speed from 60 mph to 180 mph in just a few seconds.

It’s not hard to see why they are so successful hunters. They are fast, agile, and have powerful talons that allow them to catch prey midair.


The Peregrine Falcon is a North American falcon that is found in the lower 48 states. It is dark gray on top with a charcoal cap and a yellow cere, and ring around the eye. It has a small hooked bill, with barred flanks and is completely white underneath. 

The peregrine falcon males weigh 350 to 1,000 g (0.70–2.30 lb) and the female is a bit bigger between (1.5–3.5 lb).

The Peregrine Falcon’s body is much smaller than its wings. It stands at around a body length of 13–23 in (34 to 58 cm) (13–23 in) with a wingspan of 40-44 in (102-111 cm).


The peregrine falcon is one of two birds to inhabit North America today, the other being the Bald Eagle. In addition to the common bird, the peregrine falcon has made their home in Australia, Britain, Ireland, and Spain.

It is also seen is on the Arabian Peninsula, where they feed mainly on waterfowl. The peregrine falcon breeding ranges from Central Asia to the southern United States, and they have been known to migrate from one breeding ground to another.


Peregrine Falcons breed from Alaska to Maine during the months of April through July. After breeding season, they migrate south for winter, with some staying as far south as Central America and southern Brazil.

They then make their way back north in March or April until they reach their breeding grounds again at the end of May or early June. The journey they take is approximately 12,000 miles in length and takes them six months to complete.

Peregrines make use of various habitats throughout their migration and will travel up to 200 miles per day at speeds of 60-80 mph while using updrafts from mountains or thermals from valleys during their long flight.

peregrine falcon
Image by Kevinsphotos from Pixabay

Nesting Habits

Peregrines are a type of bird that like to nest in high places. They can be found nesting on cliff faces, tall buildings, bridges and other structures. Peregrines have an average life span of 15 years and reach sexual maturity at the age of two.

They make their nests from sticks, mud and grasses, which they line with feathers for insulation. A female will lay three eggs, but only one chick will usually survive due to sibling rivalry. 


Peregrines primarily eat other birds, which makes up about 75% of their diet; that includes ducks, gulls, pigeons, songbirds, seagulls, blackbirds, and other medium-sized birds. They also eat other animals such as rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the second-fastest bird in the world?

The Saker Falcon is the second-fastest bird in the world, followed by the Golden Eagle. The saker has a maximum horizontal airspeed over 90 mph, while the Golden Eagle has a horizontal speed of just over 80 mph. They are both even in dive speed at around 200 mph.

What is the fastest bird in level flight?

Well, if we are only talking about birds that can fly at level flight, then the white-throated needletail is actually the fastest. This particular species of bird reaches speeds just over 100 mph while it’s flying in an undulating pattern with its tail spread wide open and its wings tucked close to its body.

What is the slowest bird?

The American woodcock, a type of ground-dwelling bird that lives in forested areas, moves at speeds of no more than 5mph on average. This makes it the slowest known bird on Earth!

What is the most agile bird?

The most agile bird is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards, hover in midair and fly upside down. Hummingbirds have many unique abilities not found in other types of birds. 

Hummingbirds can change direction in a fraction of a second without losing any speed because their wings are attached to their bodies by very elastic tissue that is anchored near the tail end of the bird’s body.

What is the fastest bird on land?

The fastest bird on land is the ostrich. Known for its impressive speed, the ostrich can reach running speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. This makes it the fastest bird on land, outpacing even the fastest land animals such as cheetahs and gazelles.

The ostrich’s speed is aided by its powerful legs and long stride, which allow it to cover large distances quickly. While it may not be able to fly, the ostrich more than makes up for it with its impressive land speed.

What is the fastest bird of prey?

The fastest bird of prey is the peregrine falcon, with a top speed of 240 miles per hour when diving for prey. This impressive speed allows the peregrine falcon to catch other birds mid-flight, making it a highly efficient hunter.

In addition to its speed, the peregrine falcon also has keen eyesight and sharp talons, allowing it to quickly and accurately grab its prey. These characteristics make the peregrine falcon one of the most formidable predators in the bird world.

What are the top 10 fastest bird’s in the world?

The top 10 fastest birds in the world are a fascinating and diverse group. Leading the pack is the mighty Peregrine falcon, which can reach speeds of up to 389 km/h (241 mph). Following closely behind is the Golden eagle, with a top speed of 240-320 km/h (150-200 mph).

The White-throated needletail comes in at number three with a top speed of 169 km/h (105 mph), while the Eurasian hobby clocks in at 160 km/h (99.5 mph). The Frigatebird, Spur-winged goose, and Red-breasted merganser all have impressive top speeds of 153 km/h (95 mph), 142 km/h (88 mph), and 129 km/h (80 mph) respectively.

The Rock Dove, better known as the pigeon, may surprise some with its top speed of 149 km/h (92.5 mph). The Gray-headed albatross rounds out the top 10 with a top speed of 127 km/h (79 mph), and the Anna’s hummingbird brings up the rear with a top speed of 98.3 km/h (61 mph).

These birds are truly impressive, and it’s no wonder they are able to reach such incredible speeds.

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    Meet Vince, the passionate founder of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service. Reach out for expert insights and support at, and embark on a rewarding journey in the world of birds.