Peregrine falcons, the fastest-flying birds in the world, can dive at 200 mph. That speed, coupled with a pair of strong, sharp talons, makes it rather easy for them to catch ducks or songbirds in midair.
A flock of pintail ducks seemingly made it even easier for one particular peregrine falcon at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in the Sacramento Valley in north-central California.
Cindy Sandoval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region captured the moment the falcon began diving into the flock, attempting to catch a meal. Feathers were flying everywhere:
The ducks scrambled into the water on both sides of the berm, parting like the Red Sea and leaving a cloud of feathers behind.
Meanwhile, the larger white-fronted geese in the foreground wondered what all the commotion was about. The bigger birds stayed their ground, apparently not too concerned about becoming a meal for the raptor.
It isn't known if the peregrine falcon succeeded in its hunt, but we have to assume it did eventually get its prey, based on the sheer numbers of pintail ducks at the refuge.
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