Despite its relatively small size, Pennsylvania has the fifth highest population of any U.S. state. Famous for both its historic cities and forested rolling mountains, Pennsylvania is not a state you want to miss out on. The state is rich in both natural beauty and wildlife. But, just what are the fastest animals in Pennsylvania? Here, we’ll discover nine of the fastest creatures to call Pennsylvania, and its skies, home. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve left fish and other swimming things off the list.
Let’s get started!
9. Gray Fox-28 mph
With a top speed of 28 mph, gray foxes are one of the fastest animals in Pennsylvania. Despite their name, they aren’t all gray. In fact, adult gray foxes have coats patterned in gray, white, and even orange. They grow up to four feet long (tail included) and can weigh up to 15 pounds. These tiny hunters are common throughout much of the United States, with the exception of the northwestern states.
8. White-tailed Deer-30 mph
Starting out as dappled fawns, white-tailed deer are up and able to walk within hours of birth. As adults, they can reach and maintain speeds of around 30 mph for up to several miles. White-tailed deer are prevalent in many parts of Pennsylvania; they prefer quiet forests and cool streams. Adults grow up to around four feet tall at the shoulder, and may weigh as much as 300 pounds. In the late summer and fall, males grow antlers which they later shed.
7. Bobcat-30 mph
They might look like overgrown housecats (sans long tails) but bobcats are all predator. These smallish felines can run up to 30 mph, making them some of the fastest animals in Pennsylvania. But, that speed shouldn’t scare you: bobcats mostly use that speed to hunt hares, rabbits, and other small creatures. They grow to a maximum height of around two feet tall at the shoulder, and may weigh up to 33 pounds.
6. Black Bear-35 mph
Unlike their larger cousin, the grizzly bear, black bears rarely exceed 600 pounds in weight. They’re typically black, though shades of dark and light brown are not uncommon. These omnivorous hibernators reach a top running speed of around 35 mph. Females of the species are much smaller than males, usually topping out around 200 pounds. Though attacks on humans are rare, you should always take proper precautions (and do your research) before hiking or camping in bear territory.
5. Coyote-43 mph
They’re one of the most widely spread animals in North America. And, with a top speed of around 43 mph, they’re also one of the fastest animals in Pennsylvania. Coyotes live both in secluded wilderness areas and in peri-urban to urban settings, where they can occasionally become a nuisance. Adults grow to about two feet tall at the shoulder, and weigh no more than 50 pounds. They’re typically fluffy, with fur in shades of white, brown, orange, and gray.
4. Elk-45 mph
Elk live throughout much of the United States and Canada. They’re particularly common in heavily forested areas, of which Pennsylvania has many. With a top speed of around 45 mph, they’re easily one of the fastest animals in Pennsylvania. Large male elk can exceed 1,000 pounds in weight, and may stand over six feet tall at the shoulder. Females are smaller, and lack antlers.
3. Bald Eagle-100 mph
The bald eagle is easily one of the most famous animals in the United States. These large birds hunt the waterways of Pennsylvania. Females grow slightly larger than males, with a maximum wingspan of around 8.5 feet. They may weigh up to 14 pounds. They can soar through the air at around 30 mph, but, when they sight prey, their true speed comes out. When diving down to snatch up a fish or a small animal, bald eagles can reach speeds of 100 mph.
2. Golden Eagle-120 mph
Though not quite as big as the bald eagle, the golden eagle is still one of the fastest animals in Pennsylvania. These incredible birds can reach speeds of around 200 mph when diving for prey. Adults wingspans reach around 7.5 feet, and they may weigh up to 15 pounds. Golden eagles are excellent hunters. Though they mainly eat small animals, like rabbits and hares, human falconers have used them for thousands of years to bring down game like deer and antelope.
1. Peregrine Falcon-200 mph
Our number one fastest animal in Pennsylvania is also one of the world’s fastest birds. Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving for prey at speeds over 200 mph. Luckily, humans aren’t on the menu for these amazing predators. The same isn’t true for their favorite food species—other birds. Peregrine falcons eat pigeons, ducks, songbirds, gulls, geese, and many other birds. They grow up to 19 inches long, and have a maximum wingspan of around 3.5 feet.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
According to this list, what’s the fastest animal in this state?
What’s the population of Pennsylvania compared to the other states?
Despite its relatively small size, Pennsylvania has the fifth highest population of any U.S. state.
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