Before humans decided to allow themselves an adventure to reach the sky, millions of bird species were already exploring it with their wings. Among them, there is heterogeneity in terms of habits, food, and appearance, but also in-flight capacity and the speeds they can reach.
If you have ever wondered which is the fastest bird in the world and you are interested in discovering it, do not go, stay and watch this WildAnimals article.
What are the fastest birds in the world?
When it comes to birds that fly freely through the sky at high speeds, several species compete for first place as the fastest. Want to know what they are? We will tell you about it below.
- The Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus), is a species very characteristic of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. It dives into the water to hunt at an average speed of between 100 and 120 kilometers per hour. However, when on a relaxed flight, it travels at a speed of 70 km/h.
- The next on this list are the swifts, a familiar name belonging to the family Apodidae which includes more than 40 different species. These birds are similar in appearance to swallows but prefer to live in regions with temperate climates. This type of bird is capable of flying between 170 and 200 kilometers per hour.
- The golden eagle, whose scientific name is (Aquila chrysaetos) is a bird of prey that is distributed in various areas of the world, such as Europe, Africa, part of Asia and North America, as there are several subspecies. It crosses the skies at 300 kilometers per hour.
- Another of the fastest birds in the world is the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), a bird that lives in the mountains of Asia, Europe, and America. It is among the giant falcons in the world and in medieval times was used for falconry. This species can reach up to 210 kilometers per hour while flying.
- The Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) is a species of falcon that inhabits the fields of Europe and Asia, but can also inhabit the savannas. Despite its size (35 centimeters), it is capable of flying at 160 kilometers per hour.
These species are among the fastest in the world, but the one that is placed in the first position as the fastest is the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). The peregrine falcon generally flies at only 100 kilometers per hour, but when the time comes to hunt, it plunges at 320 km/h. With this speed, the peregrine falcon becomes not only the bird but also the fastest animal in the world.
What is the fastest bird in horizontal flight?
We have already mentioned the fastest bird in the world, and it is the peregrine falcon. However, as mentioned earlier, the Peregrine Falcon holds this title because of the speed it can reach when it plunges into its prey. However, when we talk about horizontal flight, which is the fastest bird?
The fastest bird flying horizontally is the Mongolian Swift (Hirundapus caudacutus), which is a migratory bird that is distributed in some European countries but is easier to find in Siberia and Australia. In horizontal flight, it can reach between 180 and 200 kilometers per hour, and it is also known that, like other species of swifts, they are capable of spending up to 6 months in the air, without ever landing on land once.
The second place in the horizontal flight list we have to the red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator), it is a bird that lives in North America, Asia, and Europe. This bird likes temperate climates to reproduce, but the rest of the year lives in colder areas, such as Iceland and Alaska. It can reach between 140 and 160 kilometers per hour during your flight.
What is the fastest bird on land?
All the birds of which we have spoken stand out for their speed in the air, but you have asked yourself what is the fastest running bird and cannot fly? We present it to you below:
The fastest bird on land is the Ostrich (Struthio camelus), a sizeable running bird that lives in African countries, where it is distributed in 4 subspecies. It measures up to 3 meters and weighs approximately 180 kilos and is thus crowned as the world’s heaviest bird. As their wings are small, it is unable to fly. However, this does not prevent it from positioning itself as the fastest bird in the world on earth because when it runs can reach speeds of 90 kilometers per hour.