Falcons typically have long pointed wings that allow for speed, fast turning and maneuverability making them the fastest birds of prey. In fact, the fastest animal in the world is the Peregrine Falcon which has been clocked at 240 miles per hour in a dive (see video below). Gyrfalcons take the lead for fastest animal moving parallel to the ground with a speed in level flight at 75-85 miles per hour for ten miles straight. Certain falcons have a baffle in their nares (nostrils) that help regulate airflow into the lungs. This enables normal breathing even during high speed dives.
Another distinguishing factor of falcons is a tooth-like protrusion called a tomial notch on the upper part of their beak with a counter-notch on the lower maluble. This "tooth" fits into the cervical vertibrae of their prey, which they can then twist to dispatch their prey item.
Some common falcons include the American Kestrel, Gyrfalcon, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, and Northern Aplomado Falcon.