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Old 26-01-2011, 09:13 PM
Nebli Nebli is offline
Juan De Marcken
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: brussels
Posts: 4,251
Default Re: Theoretical maximum speed of a falcon in a stoop

Wild peregrines will achieved these speed without too much problem,
they will probably use it to cover space as quickly as possible
they regularly start an attack several miles from their intended quarry
Out of the surveillance cone of the prey , when the prey gets notice it is quite often too late , impact comes at speed compatible with the size, weight of the prey as well as the advantage the falcon has over the prey, more manoeuvrable or not , speed obviously being in the falcon side every time.
I have many time observed that they tend "to push" the prey(homing pigeons) higher and higher in order to give them a better advantage when the pigeons will try to join safety on the ground if the pigeons fly heigher than 500 feet , they will never be able to dive without giving the falcon a good intercepting oportunity.
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Old 27-01-2011, 07:34 AM
CloakDaggerTiercel CloakDaggerTiercel is offline
Nick Curry
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Default Re: Theoretical maximum speed of a falcon in a stoop

Good point Nebli, the massive speeds will be used from those vast prospecting pitches to get acroos the sky quickly. I've seen the end of a couple of these stoops where the tiercel seemed to have endless momentum which threw him up througj the flock of homers to split them up before grabbing one as very softly. The huge sppeds and heights are certainly used in nature.
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Old 27-01-2011, 10:10 AM
NicksChurch NicksChurch is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fife
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Default Re: Theoretical maximum speed of a falcon in a stoop

Originally Posted by Falconer1 View Post
Great stuff, but is this all just theory on paper ? Physics say's niether a helicopter or a bumble bee can fly and we have all seen them do it, so I wonder what can the falcon really do if pushed to the limits ? Some think they may be able to approach 300 mph if the set up is done right. very interesting.
This is a serious, and common misconception. Physics, and physicists (of which I am one), have an excellent idea and description of how Bumblebees and helicopters fly. In the 1930s a German scientist, using flawed techniques, indeed postulated that bumblebees theoretically should not be able to fly although he later retracted the suggestion. However, the theory became generalized to the false notion that "scientists think that bumblebees should not be able to fly."

See here for a nice friendly description and some links... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumblebee#Myths

And this paper for a more scientific discussion:
McMasters, J. H. 1989. The flight of the bumblebee and related myths of entomological engineering. Am. Sci. 77: 164–169.
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Old 27-01-2011, 04:49 PM
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EddieT EddieT is offline
Eddie Thorn
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bedfordshire
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Default Re: Theoretical maximum speed of a falcon in a stoop

Just thinking about it a little bit more with a knowledge of physics that hasn't been added to since A level studies 23 years ago...

When the peregrine pulls out of the stoop does the huge centrepetal force created by the falcon's use of its body shape and lift profile to dramatically bend its flight from vertical to horizontal further accelerate the falcon into the horizontal and therefore the vertical speed is added to by extra speed slingshotting it into the horizontal? ie is the falcon going fastest just after pulling out of the stoop?
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Old 27-01-2011, 05:15 PM
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HarrisHawkingNovice HarrisHawkingNovice is offline
Ben Fairbank
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: West Yorkshire
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Default Re: Theoretical maximum speed of a falcon in a stoop

Reminds me about ten years ago we was releasing our racing pigeons in middle of moors over a deep valley just surrounded by miles of moorland. They circled and dropped into valley to our right and started to cut down valley across front of us when something caught my eye. A female peregrine about 200ft came rocketing across from the distance really eating up the sky and over the valley, 2 to 300 ft above them when she barreled and pumped hard downwards before closing tight near vertical and picked up tremendous speed in very little time and distance. She went straight through them dropping one out but she never leveled or slowed till after the strike. I think this was knowing there was alot of valley below them allowing her to level out and re bind with the pigeon that in comparison was falling slowly to the floor. The power and speed will long be in my memory!
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Old 28-01-2011, 08:35 AM
Nebli Nebli is offline
Juan De Marcken
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Default Re: Theoretical maximum speed of a falcon in a stoop

have a look at this it could probably interest you
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Old 28-01-2011, 08:55 PM
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BarbaryHawking06 BarbaryHawking06 is offline
Bjorn Eilers
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default Re: Theoretical Maximum Speed of a Falcon in a Stoop

Some time back I read in a science paper (don't remember which) that a university had calculated the max theoretical speed of a peregrine, applying aerdoynamics. The max speed was close to 700Kph (430 mph)
Any use of my quotes in other forums or papers without written permission of mine, will be prosecuted!
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Old 22-06-2017, 01:32 PM
Lamas Lamas is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Viseu
Posts: 10
Default Re: Theoretical Maximum Speed of a Falcon in a Stoop

Hello Friends

The 'speed' achieved in the National Geographic is matter only for a television program. IT IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE.

THE MAXIMUM SPEED MEASURED CLOCKED: 184km/h FOR A PEREGRINE ; 156km/h FOR A DUCK (Peter, D. and Kestenholz, M. (199. Sturzflüge von Wanderfalke
Falco peregrinus und Wüstenfalke F. pelegrinoides. Orn. Beob. 95,

210km/h FOR A MALE 1.0kg GYRFALCON with peregrine style http://jeb.biologists.org/content/je...2061.full.pdf;

up to 197 km/h in SMALL PASSERINES WHEN LEAVE THE SEA DURING MIGRATION AND STOOP FROM 3000m height (e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11222132, I have the full pdf)


Many Thaks
Lamas -

Correction: In the paper (measure by RADAR tracking) where the Duck reach 156km/h in NATURE, a Peregrine reach 140km/h and a Goshawk 110km/h.

In other paper (RADAR traking) a Peregrine and a Barabry peregrine made stoops MOTIVATED by a falconer, the Peregrine reach about 184km/h.

In NATURE the speeds of Passerines I cited above were also measured by RADAR.

(As I have seen during twenty years I dedicated to speeds of birds, when a bird goes at 60km/h the people say it flies at 120km/h; if the bird reach 100km/h the people say 300km/h.)


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