Top 10 fastest birds in the world

nature & geography

There are around 10,000 bird species. Birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs and a lightweight skeleton. And probably the most significant aspect of a bird: they have wings that enable them to fly. Some birds use these wings to migrate annually, others use them for hunting prey. The birds in our next list are the fastest birds in the world.

The shape of the wing is a crucial element in determining the types of flight of which the bird is capable. Short, pointed wings allow a bird to dive at high speed. High aspect ratio wings enables a bird to glide. But which are the fastest birds on the planet? Check the top 10 fastest birds in the world!

Top 10 fastest birds in the world

  1. Eider (Somateria mollissima) – 70 mph / 113 km/h
  2. Canvasback (Aythya valisineria) – 73 mph / 116 km/h
  3. Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) – 81 mph / 130 km/h
  4. Spur-winged Goose (Plectropterus) – 88 mph / 142 km/h
  5. Frigatebird (Fregata) – 95 mph / 153 km/h
  6. Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) – 100 mph / 161 km/h
  7. Swift (Apus apus) – 106 mph / 171 km/h
  8. White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) – 108 mph / 175 km/h
  9. Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) – 200 mph / 320 km/h
  10. Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus) – 242 mph / 389 km/h


An interesting guide to watch our feathered friends: The Bird Watching Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)