Speedy Feathered Creatures: 10 Fastest Birds


With the ability to fly is already awesome, let alone being the fastest birds with super speed. When it comes to the fastest-flying birds, which one first comes into your mind? The special ability of these fastest birds allows them to catch prey and hunt way easier compare to other birds. The fast speed also enables these birds to be extra powerful as well. So let’s take a look at the list of 10 fastest birds with us below and see if you know them.

10Common Swift

Maximum Speed: 111.6 km/h

Common swift is a medium-sized bird with a similar look to a barn swallow or house martin but larger. The unique thing about this bird is that they have very short legs which they use for clinging to vertical surfaces. These birds never settle voluntarily on the ground at all because they would be vulnerable to accidents and predation.

Apart from being one of the fastest birds, common swifts are also among the toughest birds as well. The non-breeding individuals can spend up to ten months in continuous flight, and no bird can do that. In case you wonder, common swifts feed on the insects they caught in flight; and they drink, sleep and even mate on the wing. Basically, common swifts spend their lives in the air except when nesting only.

9Red-Breasted Merganser

Maximum Speed: 129 km/h

Here we have the fastest ducks to ever fly with great speed of up to 129 kilometers per hour. Normally, they live in freshwater lakes and rivers across northern North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. This type of duck has a spiky crest along with long thin red bills and serrated edges. Usually, they tend to sit low in the water and fly at an angle with their head higher than their feet. Red-Breasted Mergansers are one fierce-looking birds, and they are one of the special duck species in the world.

8Spur-Winged Goose

Maximum Speed: 142 km/h

Spur-Winged Goose is not only one of the fastest birds but also one of the most poisonous birds in the world. These geese are the social type of birds that usually live in a flock of 50 at least. These blazing fast birds can move very quickly, and their top speed can be as fast as 142 kilometers per hour.

Unfortunately, these fastest birds are now being threatened due to uncontrolled hunting which decreases their population. They might be poisonous to eat, but these birds are prized in traditional medicine in Nigeria. Also, the development and destruction of wetlands which is their habitat are one of the reasons for the threat to their species.

7Rock Dove Pigeon

Maximum Speed: 148.9 km/h

Rove Dove Pigeon aka Rock Dove or Rock Pigeon is a member among the fastest birds on earth. They are the common pigeons that we see in our everyday life without a single clue that they can be this fast. These pigeons are also known for their ability to find their way back home from long distances at high speed. With such gifted skills, no doubt why people trained them to carry messages as messenger pigeons back in the past.


Maximum Speed: 153 km/h

These birds are able to soar for weeks on wind currents, and they spend most of the day in flight hunting. As for at night, Frigatebirds roost on trees or cliffs before they begin their day again in the morning. They often soar over the ocean on outstretched wings with their head drawn into the shoulders.

The interesting thing is that they rarely flap their wings but when they do, their wingbeats are slow and deep. That is not all, these birds don’t actually dive for fish; instead, they skim fish from the surface of the water. While other times, they chase other birds forcing them to give up their meal.

Frigatebirds are very light in weight because their bones are pneumatic meaning the bones are filled with air. Despite their great flight speed, people still manage to hunt them down which leads to the decline of their population. Catching Frigatebirds is an important tradition in Nauru, while people in the Caribbean eat their eggs and their young.

5Eurasian Hobby

Maximum Speed: 160 km/h

This is a small and slim falcon that can reach the speed of 160 kilometers per hour which makes them one of the fastest birds. During the flight, Eurasians hunt using rapid movements to outmaneuver their prey. Another awesome thing is that male Eurasian passes food to the female at extreme speed as part of the spectacular courtship display in their air. As for the bad reputation they don’t build their own nest, they lay their eggs in the disused nest of other species.

4White-Throated Needletail

Maximum Speed: 170 km/h

White-Throated Needletail is a large swift that can reach a speed of up to 170 kilometers per hour. Just like the fastest birds on our list, these birds don’t like to sit on the ground. They spend most of their time in the air, and they feed on small flying insects like beetles, flies, bees, and moths. While feeding, these birds protect their eyes with a special membrane and a small ridge of feathers. Apart from feeding, White-Throated Needletail also drinks in flight as well.


image: Geograph

Maximum Speed: 209 km/h

Gyrfalcon is the largest of the falcon species as well as one among the fastest birds in the world. They are very large falcons which makes them one of the predators that hunt other birds smaller than them. The Gyrfalcons hunt primarily birds in open country, and they often perch on the ground. Sometimes they fly high and attack their prey from above, but they often approach fast and low by hugging ground contours. Climate change is the main factor that affects the population of Gyrfalcon. There is a fear that they might be extinct in the next 10-15 years if there are no solutions.

2Golden Eagle

Maximum Speed: 320 km/h

Eagles are fierce birds, and this is the perfect example of them. Golden Eagles are very fast birds with sharp talons that enable them to hunt a variety of prey. These birds use their agility and great speed along with their powerful feet to snatch up hares, rabbits, and ground squirrels. With broad and long wings, Golden Eagles are able to fly at a very great speed which makes them the second fastest birds.

1Peregrine Falcon

Maximum Speed: 389 km/h

You are looking at the fastest birds on earth with speeds up to 389 kilometers per hour. At the same time, they are also the largest falcons in most of the continents in the world as well. In the air, they are swift with spectacular dives known as stoops. These falcons often sit on high perches waiting for the right opportunity to hunt. Peregrine Falcons feed on medium-sized birds like pigeons, doves, songbirds, and waders. Their population is actually everywhere on earth except Antarctica, so they are a safe species.

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