Peregrine strategy (was raptor prey)

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Peregrine strategy (was raptor prey)
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2008 23:30:28 +1000
On Sun, Jun 15, 2008 at 07:14:21PM +1000, Greg & Val Clancy wrote:
> Further from Stephen Debus:
> The absolute fastest actually measured with radar
> is just under 200 km/h (about 190, from memory) for a Peregrine, just
> over 200 for the bigger/heavier Gyrfalcon.  This is in the scientific
> literature, but not getting through (though I try!).  200 km/h is
> impressive enough without having to exaggerate.

The faster radar measurement Google Scholar turns up is 51m/s (ref below)
which is 184km/h and the same paper cites careful non-radar measurement
of Gyrfalcon doing similar speeds.  Aerodynamic characteristics of
both falcons indicate both could achieve much higher speeds and must be
controlling their descent rate - maybe higher speeds would be dangerous
to the falcon or not advantageous to hunting.

The falcon in this BBC video must be approach this sort of velocity:

Youtube has quite a few clips showing stoops, some with kills, e.g:


HedenstrÂ?m, A. The stoop of large falcons. Trends. Ecol. Evol. 13:383-385.

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