The peregrine falcon, or Falco peregrinus, is the fastest bird and the fastest member of the animal kingdom. When swooping or diving, it reaches speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. It is native to North America and historically known as the duck hawk.
While the peregrine falcon holds the distinction of being the fastest animal, the white-throated needletail or Hirundapus caudacutus is faster in level flapping flight. The needletail flies at sustained speeds of 69 miles per hour, while the peregrine falcon is only capable of short bursts of speed. It is also known as the needle-tailed swift or spine-tailed swift and is native to mountainous regions in Asia and Siberia.