While humans compete for sport and honor at the Olympics, Missouri's wildlife are busy hunting, playing and competing for survival. They can be seen performing feats of strength, speed and endurance throughout the Show Me State.
Peregrine falcons are the fastest flyers. These speed champions clock in at over 200 miles per hour during power dives. Peregrine falcons are a remarkable comeback story in the past 50 years. They can be seen flying high around skyscrapers in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Bald eagles glide low over waterways to snag a fish. Our national symbol has been known to engage in a bit of unsportsmanlike conduct in stealing fish from ospreys and others rather than scoop their own. On rare occasions, they will hunt cooperatively, flushing out prey towards another.
Coyotes reach speeds of 40 miles per hour while in hot pursuit. They're tough competitors for rabbits whose speed tops out at 30 mph. They can jump through the snow like a mogul skier.
White-tailed deer move cross country with speed and agility. They can leap as high as ten feet, and as long as 30 feet in a single bound. Their top swimming speed is around 13 mph. White-tailed deer have a highly developed sense of sight, smell and hearing. If they can't sneak away, they'll dart off with a loud snort, raising their white tail up like a flag, alerting other deer to danger.
Like cats, red foxes sneak up on their prey and pounce. Their speed and hunting skills make them a stealthy competitor. Their ears can pinpoint a sound's location within one degree. They can hear a mouse squeal 150 feet away. Their bushy tails help with balance, warmth and signaling other foxes.
And if you're walking through the woods after a snowfall, you might catch river otters sliding downhill like a slalom pro.
These are just a few of Missouri’s animal champions. Our wildlife compete to survive the elements, escape predators, catch prey, build homes, and have young.
These competitions take place all over the state in all seasons. You can catch the action of our wild animals in the fields, woods, waters, and backyards of Missouri. Watch the video below to see winter wildlife in action.