The peregrine falcon, a bird of prey common to most of the world, actually holds that title. The peregrine almost exclusively preys upon birds that it catches in mid-air. To hunt, it either perches or soars high above the ground scanning for birds. When prey is spotted, the falcon folds in its wings and feet to streamline itself, and begins a high-speed dive, called a stoop. In this dive, the falcon may reach speeds of over 200mph, usually stunning its prey by striking it with a closed talon.
|Peregrine falcon in captivity. Photo: Carl Mueller|