Ever wondered what the fastest birds in the world are? Then read on and it might surprise you what species are on this list, but what will really surprise you is that our top speed bird is faster than many hypercars! Got your attention now haven’t I, so let’s get one with the list…
The Top 10 Fastest Animals in the Air
10 – Canvasback – (Fastest Recorded Speed:71 MPH)
Info Source: The genus name is derived from Greek aithuia, an unidentified seabird mentioned by authors, including Hesychius and Aristotle. The species name valisineria comes from the wild celery Vallisneria americana, whose winter buds and rhizomes are the canvasback’s preferred food during the nonbreeding period.
9 – Grey Headed Albatross – (Fastest Recorded Speed:72 MPH)
Info Source: The grey-headed albatross also known as the grey-headed mollymawk, is a large seabird from the albatross family. It has a circumpolar distribution, nesting on isolated islands in the Southern Ocean and feeding at high latitudes, further south than any of the other mollymawks. Its name derives from its ashy-grey head, throat and upper neck.
8 – Red Breasted Merganser – (Fastest Recorded Speed:77 MPH)
Info Source: The red-breasted merganser is a diving duck, one of the sawbills. The genus name is a Latin word used by Pliny and other Roman authors to refer to an unspecified waterbird, and serrator is a sawyer from Latin serra, “saw”.
7 – Spur Winged Goose – (Fastest Recorded Speed:80 MPH)
Info Source: The spur-winged goose is a large bird in the family Anatidae, related to the geese and the shelducks, but distinct from both of these in a number of anatomical features, and therefore treated in its own subfamily, the Plectropterinae. It occurs in wetlands throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
6 – Frigate Bird – (Fastest Recorded Speed:88 MPH)
Info Source: Frigatebirds are a family of seabirds called Fregatidae which are found across all tropical and subtropical oceans. The five extant species are classified in a single genus, Fregata. All have predominantly black plumage, long, deeply forked tails and long hooked bills.
5 – Eurasian Hobby – (Fastest Recorded Speed:95 MPH)
Info Source: The first formal description of the Eurasian hobby was by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae under the present binomial name Falco subbuteo. The genus name falco derives from Late Latin falx, falcis, a sickle, referring to the claws of the bird.
4 – White-throated Needletail – (Fastest Recorded Speed:106 MPH)
Info Source: These birds have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces. They build their nests in rock crevices in cliffs or hollow trees. They never settle voluntarily on the ground and spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks.
3 – Gyrfalcon – (Fastest Recorded Speed:113 MPH)
Info Source: It breeds on Arctic coasts and tundra, and the islands of northern North America, Europe, and Asia. It is mainly a resident there also, but some gyrfalcons disperse more widely after the breeding season, or in winter.
2 – Golden Eagle (Fastest Recorded Speed:146 MPH)
Info Source: The golden eagle is one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most widely distributed species of eagle. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.
1 – Peregrine Falcon (Fastest Recorded Speed:200 MPH)
Info Source: The peregrine falcon, also known as the peregrine and historically as the duck hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and is renowned for its almost impossible speed dives and high rate of hunting success.