It’s a bummer we can’t fly the way birds do. The best we can do is jump out of a plane and fall at 120 miles per hour, until the parachute opens (hopefully) and slows you down. That’s pretty speedy, but nothing like the peregrine falcon. This bird hunts by doing nosedives out of the sky at more than 200 miles an hour! That’s 3-4 times as fast as a car, making the peregrine falcon the fastest animal on or above Earth. Luckily, these birds also know how to pull out of that nosedive and fly back up – no parachute needed. Also, falling at that speed through the air could hurt a bird. So the peregrine falcon has a third eyelid on each eye that helps keep its eyeballs moist, and bones on its beak push air to the side so it can breathe easily while diving. So nothing can stop this bird. Other birds had better beware!
Wee ones: If a falcon catches 6 pigeons for dinner, what numbers would it say to count them?
Little kids: Who’s faster, a falcon flying at 200 miles an hour, or a cheetah running at 70 miles an hour? Bonus: Who has more eyelids, 3 peregrine falcons, or you and 3 friends?
Big kids: If you skydive at 120 miles an hour, how much faster can the 200-mile-an-hour falcon fly? Bonus: The falcon’s strong wings can be up to 47 inches across. If you lay across that bird, how would your length compare to that?
Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Little kids: The falcon! Bonus: The falcons. Since everybody has 2 eyes, you can count just everyone’s left eye: the falcons together have 9 eyelids, while you and your friends have 8.
Big kids: 80 miles an hour faster. Bonus: Different for everyone…subtract your height in inches from 47, or vice versa.