10 Animals That Can Fly and Swim (with Pictures In 2023)

Last updated on November 30th, 2023 at 12:49 am

Welcome to the coolest blog post you’ll read today! Get ready to dive into the extraordinary world of animals that possess not one or two, but three superpowers – they can swim, fly, and walk! From waterfowl like ducks to seabirds like puffins and gannets, and even the more unusual dragonflies, these creatures effortlessly navigate the realms of air and water.

While humans rely on machines to fly and swim, these animals are born with these incredible talents. Join us as we explore how waterfowl use their wings, how buoyancy aids seabirds, and how the dragonfly pulls off the trifecta – walking, swimming, and flying.

10 Animals That Can Fly and Swim

1. Geese

Animals That Can Fly and Swim

Meet the geese, captivating water birds native to North America, seamlessly navigating the realms of air and water. Here’s a quick look at these beautiful and social creatures

Geese thrive near open water, thickets, mudflats, and wetlands. Their social nature enhances their community living near these diverse habitats.

In the wild, geese usually live 10 to 15 years, but in captivity, their lifespan can extend beyond 30 years, showcasing their adaptability to different environments.

Geese are not just beautiful; they’re also skilled flyers. With speeds reaching up to 30 mph in bursts, they can soar to 9,000 feet. During migration, they navigate as low as 2,000 feet, covering impressive distances.

While foraging underwater, geese showcase their diving talents, reaching depths between 30 to 40 feet. This unique skill adds to their versatility in hunting for food.

To prevent their wings from drying out due to water resistance, geese keep them still when not in flight or swimming. This subtle adaptation ensures their wings remain in prime condition.

2. Ducks

Animals That Can Fly and Swim

Image Source Pixabay

Ducks, members of the Anatidae family alongside geese and swans, are remarkable waterfowl celebrated for their diverse abilities. Here’s a quick glimpse into the fascinating world of ducks.

Ducks are omnivores, feasting on grasses, aquatic plants, fish, mollusks, insects, and worms. Their varied diet contributes to their adaptability in different environments.

Native to North and South America, ducks are synonymous with freshwater habitats. Their distinctive webbed feet make them adept swimmers, effortlessly gliding through ponds, lakes, and rivers.

n the air, ducks showcase their flying prowess, reaching speeds of 40 to 60 miles per hour. Their broad, powerful wings facilitate swift take-offs and high-speed flights, a spectacle often observed during migration.

Some species, like the mallard, elevate the flying game. With the ability to reach altitudes of up to 21,000 feet, these ducks demonstrate impressive altitude capabilities.

Beyond the skies, ducks are equally proficient underwater. Whether bobbing on the surface or diving deep, they can remain submerged for up to a minute, showcasing their dual mastery of air and water.

Read Also: Quiet Animals

3. Swans

Animals That Can Fly and Swim

Image Source Pixabay

Swans, often hailed as symbols of elegance, regality, and nobility, hold a special place in the hearts of many, including Queen Elizabeth II. Here’s a glimpse into the enchanting world of these graceful waterfowl.

Queen Elizabeth II claims unmarked swans in unowned English waters, a testament to the captivating allure of these majestic birds.

With impressive 10-foot wingspans, swans are not just symbols of beauty; they’re also excellent flyers, gracing the skies with their regal presence.

In the air, swans achieve 18 to 30 mph speeds, showcasing their flying prowess. Broad and powerful wings enable swift take-offs, often seen in mesmerizing formations.

Found in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia, and South America, there are six species of swans. These large white waterfowl navigate both land and water, exhibiting a versatile foraging style.

4. Loons

Animals That Can Fly and Swim

Image Source Pixabay

Loons, migratory carnivorous birds found across North America, are known for more than just their awkward movements on land. Here’s a quick glimpse into the fascinating world of these aquatic wonders.

Despite struggling with takeoffs, loons prove to be strong flyers once airborne. They can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, demonstrating their aerial prowess.

Diving to impressive depths of 200 feet below the water’s surface, loons can remain submerged for an astonishing eight minutes, highlighting their adaptability to underwater life.

Renowned for their endurance in flight, loons are capable of covering extensive distances. In a documented case, one loon flew an astounding 650 miles daily, showcasing its remarkable stamina.

5. Puffins

Animals That Can Fly and Swim

Puffins, often mistaken for penguins due to their black and white plumage, belong to a different bird family altogether. Here’s a glimpse into the unique abilities that set puffins apart.

Equipped with webbed feet, puffins can dive to impressive depths of 200 feet. However, their underwater stints are brief, limited to just 30 seconds.

In the air, puffins are energetic fliers, flapping their wings 300 to 400 times per minute to stay aloft. Flying at speeds of 55 miles per hour and maintaining heights of 30 feet above the water, they display grace in the skies.

6. Flamingos

In the world of birds, flamingos stand out with their elegance, uniquely colored feathers, and iconic long legs. Here’s a quick dive into the fascinating abilities of these pink beauties.

While not the most adept flyers, flamingos can cover impressive distances, reaching speeds of 31 to 37 miles per hour. A whole flock in flight creates a stunning spectacle against the sky.

Despite their distinctive leg-shaped stance, flamingos are more than just pretty standards. In a single night, they can cover over 350 miles, showcasing their surprising travel capabilities.

Found in regions like the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Southern Europe, and Southwest Asia, flamingos have a widespread presence, adding to their mystique.

Read Also: Yellow Birds In Florida

7. Gannets

Let’s turn our attention to the impressive gannets, renowned for their breathtaking aerial displays and unique behaviors.

Northern gannets showcase stunning aerial acrobatics, especially during their descent. Plunging from incredible heights, they drop into the water, submerging themselves up to 72 feet to catch their prey.

These seabirds are no strangers to speed. Gannets can fly at speeds of up to 60 mph and execute spectacular dives from heights of up to 100 feet, highlighting their agility in both air and water.

With their presence in the North Atlantic, southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, gannets have a widespread distribution, adding to the fascination surrounding these remarkable birds.

8. Pelicans

Pelicans exhibit impressive diving capabilities, with some species reaching depths of 60 feet below the water surface. Their aquatic skills extend beyond swimming, making them adept hunters underwater.

In the air, pelicans often fly in V formations, covering substantial distances. Remarkably, they can remain airborne for 24 hours, traveling a hundred miles in a single flight.

Utilizing the ground effect, pelicans conserve energy during flight, a unique adaptation that enhances their efficiency in the air.

As a genus of large waterbirds, pelicans comprise eight species. The American white pelican, one of the largest birds in North America, boasts an impressive wingspan of up to ten feet.

9. Common murre

The common murre, a type of auk, is a true marvel of the seas and skies. Here’s a quick look at their extraordinary abilities.

With powerful wings, common murres can fly at speeds of up to 50 mph. Their aerial prowess is matched by their underwater abilities, regularly swimming up to 100 feet below the surface to catch fish.

The common murre takes its underwater skills to greater depths, with the record for the deepest dive standing at an impressive 550 feet. These birds redefine the boundaries between air and water with their exceptional diving capabilities.

Remarkably, common murres showcase their flying skills at a tender age, taking to the air at just 39 days old. Their natural aptitude for flight sets them apart as early aviators in the avian world.

10. American dippers

American dippers are proficient swimmers, capable of diving to depths of 20 feet underwater. Their foraging extends beyond the surface, as they skillfully walk along river floors in search of insects and fish eggs.

These gray songbirds, also known as water ouzels, exhibit a range of hunting techniques. From swimming to the surface to pick up floating insects to flying mid-air to catch prey, American dippers showcase their adaptability in various hunting scenarios.

The ability to stay submerged for extended periods is attributed to their waterproof feathers, the additional oxygen in their blood, and a nasal flap that prevents water from flooding their noses.

Found in the Western U.S. and Canada, American dippers thrive in mountainous regions, where they navigate rocky brooks and streams. Their disappearing acts underwater as they feed on aquatic insects and larvae add to their mystique.

Final Words

In conclusion, the realm of animals that can both fly and swim unveils a captivating dimension of the natural world. From the soaring geese to the agile ducks, the majestic swans to the aerial acrobats like puffins and gannets, these creatures embody the dual mastery of navigating both air and water.

May our exploration of these flying and swimming marvels deepen our connection with the natural world and foster a commitment to preserving the habitats that allow such extraordinary beings to grace our skies and waters.


1. Do animals that can both fly and swim migrate differently?

Migration patterns vary among species, but many birds with dual abilities, such as geese and swans, showcase remarkable migratory journeys. These movements involve both flying long distances and navigating bodies of water.

2. What animals can fly and swim?

Several animals exhibit the remarkable ability to both fly and swim. Some notable examples include ducks, geese, swans, puffins, cormorants, loons, and certain types of gannets.

3. Can all birds both fly and swim?

While many birds possess the ability to both fly and swim, not all species exhibit this dual capability. Birds such as ducks, geese, and puffins are notable examples of creatures adept in both air and water.



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