WATCH: Falcon Attacks a Drone Thousands of Feet Above the Ground in Aerial Video

by Jon D. B.

File under coolest footage of the day: watch as the fastest animal on the planet, a peregrine falcon, takes down a drone while thousands of feet above the ground.

Peregrine falcons are one of nature’s most incredible and efficient predators (as well as one of this Outsider’s absolute favorite animals). They’re not only the fastest bird on Earth, but the fastest living animal known to exist. When diving, these falcons can exceed 300 km per hour. In short: that’s a 200 mph bird of prey.

Thanks to Russian-born cameraman Ilya B., we now have some of the most remarkable drone footage of a peregrine falcon ever captured. And it was all by complete accident.

“It’s a bird – It’s a plane – It’s a Falcon attacking a drone at 2,300 ft!” begins the New York Post of the footage Tuesday. “This stunning footage from Russian cameraman Ilya B. shows the rare bird of prey swooping in to grab his drone midair – only to drop it to the ground after realizing it wasn’t food.”

The trade makes it all sound rather pedestrian. But for any Outsider – this is will put a big ol’ grin on your face. Watch below as the peregrine shoots like a bolt of lightning into the drone’s view. Then, with a barrel-roll leading into a killer dive, the falcon takes hold of the mechanical beast.

“I have seen many birds turning around my drone, overall seagulls. Falcons and other raptors too, but no attack with contact!” replies New York Post follower Joel.

How this drone survives this encounter is beyond us. But if any fellow Outsiders are looking for a particularly hardy one, they may want to ask Ilya B. what model he’s flying.

Peregrine Falcon: 1 – Drone: 0

Mid flight, the peregrine releases the drone to readjust its plan of attack. Without hesitation, the raptor shoots back, clasping down onto it in order to deliver the killing blow: a hard, 100 mph throw to the ground.

And this is all after a first-person (or drone) view of the falcon carrying it downward. Once the drone hits the ground, however, the velocity of it’s journey becomes apparent as it flips, tosses, and turns for seconds through the grounds – tossing dry grass every-which-way as it churns about.

The falcon gives the machine a few more curious pecks and scratches before deciding it isn’t edible – and flies away as if it never happened. If you didn’t hold an incredible appreciation for peregrines before this footage, we bet you do now!

Many people in many countries do, as peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) are the most widely distributed bird of prey there is. So much so that they have varying names, like the duck hawk, across the planet. Peregrines breed on every continent (excluding Antarctica), too. With such wide distribution, there are sixteen recognized subspecies in this amazing, lightning-fast raptor family.