Peregrine falcons are the world’s fastest birds. Rocketing down like a comet, their dives can start a half-mile above their prey and reach 260 miles per hour.
Bull’s-eye! With talons outstretched, a peregrine can strike a duck with enough force to stun or kill it.
An extra pair of see-through eyelids act like built-in goggles to help the peregrine maintain razor-sharp focus during its dives.
A pintail has a super-wide view thanks to eyes on the sides of its head. Ducks see three times farther than humans, making a duck’s vision its most powerful sense.
Pintails are strong, fast fliers. Their wings are sweptback, rather than straight out like other ducks. Pintails can take flight easily by leaping right up from the water’s surface.
Pintails join large flocks with all sorts of other ducks. Flying in flocks gives them a thousand eyes in the sky to watch out for falcons.
The pintail’s sharp eyesight saw the peregrine fixing for a dive from half a mile away. It quickly headed toward safety, but was unable to escape the falcon, nature’s feathered speeding bullet.
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill