Did you know that the world’s fastest bird flies at a speed that’s faster than the running speed of a car? Due to their extraordinary shape and speed the following birds have made it to the top 10 list of the fastest ever flying birds of the world.
1) Spine-tailed swift (170 km/hr):
Also known as the white-throated needletail, this bird can fly at a remarkable speed. This is probably a good thing as they spend most of their time in the air, never setting their feet on the ground willingly. Central Asia and Southern Siberia are the areas where this species is mostly found although being migratory in nature, they head south in the winter to the Indian subcontinent, Australia and Southeast Asia.
2) Frigate bird (153 km/hr):
These birds are actually a family, fregatidae, of seabirds consisting of 5 species. They are also known as Pirate birds or Man of War birds. One interesting thing to notice about this bird is that their duration of prenatal care is longest of that of any bird. Majority of their population is found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as in the South Atlantic.
3) Spur-winged goose (142 km/hr):
A large bird in the family Anatidae, this bird is also known as the world’s biggest ‘goose’ ranging in weight from 4-6.8kg. It is mainly located in the wetlands throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It was one of the first sub-Saharan species known to science.
4) Red-breasted merganser (129 km/hr):
Also referred to as the mergus serrator or saw-bill because of it’s long serrated beak, this flying duck is widely spread over Europe, Asia, Greenland and North America. They migrate south during the winter.
5) White-rumped swift (124km/hr) :
This bird is a small swift. Swifts have very short legs that they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces. These species usually inhabit man-made structures such as buildings and bridges as its territory is usually dictated by its hosts. They mainly occur in Spain, Morroco and sub Saharan country.
6) Canvasback Duck (120 km/hr):
The canvasback duck is a large diving duck that is found in North America. It is the largest of the North American diving ducks ranging from 48 cms to 56 cms. They migrate to warmer climates during the winter flying in V-shaped formations.
7) Eider Duck (113 km/hr):
Also known as the common eider, it is the largest duck found in Europe and North America. They are spread over the northern part of Europe, North America and Eastern Siberia, mainly in the coastal regions. Eiders are highly sociable and usually stay close inshore.
8) Teal (109 km/hr):
The Eurasian teal or Common teal is a common duck that breeds in temperate Eurasia and migrates south during the winter. It is called just ‘teal’ as it is the smallest dabbling duck within its range. Outside the breeding season, it is a highly gregarious duck and can form large flocks.
9) Mallard (105 km/hr) :
These species are usually known as wild ducks and are found America, Europe, Asia, North Africa, New Zealand and a part of Australia as well. The Mallard is the ancestor of most domestic ducks and is a migratory bird.
10) Pintail ( 105 km/hr) :
The pintail has a widely spread population in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America. It is a migratory bird which flies south of its breeding range in the winter, towards the equator. They have also earned the nickname ‘greyhound of the air’ as they are long, slender ducks with long, narrow wings.