The fastest bird in the world was photographed in Mai Po marshes on November 13th earlier this year........The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).
This picture I took in the new forest in the UK of a rehabilitating bird in a bird sanctuary.
Whereas this was the best picture I could get in Hong Kong.
The peregrine falcon reaches faster speeds than any other animal on the planet, and it does this when performing the "stoop". This involves soaring to a great height and then diving steeply, when it can attain speeds of over 320 km/h (200 mph). It hits one wing of its prey so as to immobilise it and also so as not to harm itself on impact. Interestingly enough if you have ever stuck your head out of a car window (or on a motorbike) at 300km then you would know that there is considerable air pressure on your face....and this air pressure from such a dive could possibly damage a bird's lungs, but small bony tubercles on a falcon's nostrils are theorized to guide the powerful airflow away from the nostrils, enabling the bird to breathe more easily while diving by reducing the change in air pressure. Clever eh... they should have one on my crash helmet ....not that i ever go that fast, oh no, not me officer ....oh, i lost my license (again).
This one flew over my car just last week, mid December. I could also do with their nictitating membranes (third eyelids) to spread tears and clear debris from their eyes while maintaining vision at this high speed - and in my case to also to clear away the mess on my own face as i have to tell my wife i have lost my license for the third time.
There are actually two in this photo...