Peregrine falcons are the dive bombers of the natural world, flying at speeds over 200 mph to snag their prey.
From KQED Deep Look:
While known for being the world's fastest bird–peregrines have been clocked at diving more than 200 miles per hour–these majestic birds were at risk for going extinct 50 years ago. Widespread use of pesticides such as DDT decimated native populations of peregrine falcons.
By 1970, California's peregrine population had dwindled to only two known nesting pairs statewide. The federal government banned DDT in 1972. And successful restoration efforts spearheaded by organizations like The Peregrine Fund helped revive their numbers. By 1999, they were removed from the federal Endangered Species List. Recent surveys estimate that there are now 300 to 350 nesting pairs in California and more than 2400 pairs nationwide.