Peregrine falcons are nicknamed “duck hawks” because ducks are one of their favorite foods. For comparison, here’s a peregrine falcon and a red-breasted merganser. Obviously the peregrine is more powerful.
Now imagine the peregrine is chasing the red-breasted merganser over Lake Erie. If these two birds are traveling as fast as they can go in level flight, who would win?
In level flight (not in a dive) the red-breasted merganser is faster!
Learn how fast these birds can go in this vintage blog post: Talk About Speed