Physics-based simulations of aerial attacks by peregrine falcons reveal that stooping at high speed maximizes catch success against agile prey
Graphs depict results for non-smooth maneuvering prey, because in this condition the high-speed stoop with a low N shows the most marked increase in catch success for the falcon. The upper bounds in values for reaction times and errors in vision and control are chosen such that they are different enough to show substantial variation in simulation results, but remain low enough to allow for capture. (a) Maximum catch success as a function of N in the baseline model, for smaller (τ = 0.1ms & 25ms) or larger (τ = 100ms & 150ms) response delays, assuming the optimal attack position. The margins depict the 95% confidence intervals of the GAM. The asterisks denote the global optimum with respect to the x-axis. (b) Maximum catch success as a function of N for different visual (ξ) and control error (χ). (c) Maximum catch success as a function of altitude, for the baseline and for increased error in vision. (d) Maximum catch success as a function of altitude for various values of control error. (e) Maximum catch success as a function of altitude, for various values of response delay τ.