How Fast Can the Fastest Bird Fly?

fast-can-fastest-bird-fly Credit: Willi Rolfes/Picture Press/Getty Images

There are a few different ways that birds are able to travel at high speeds, from taking advantage of gravity during a downward swoop to traveling long distances in a relatively short period and just straightforward flying at impressive speeds. For example, when the falcon dives after flying up to great heights, it can move faster than 200 miles per hour, making it the fastest animal on the planet.

The fastest bird that travels in a level, straightforward manner is the spine-tailed swift, which can move at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. In terms of quick migration, the great snipe has been recorded traveling all the way from Sweden to Africa at nonstop speeds of 60 miles per hour.