10 Types Of Birds That Swim Underwater (With Pictures)

There are approximately 18,000 different species of birds in the world. From the air to the land to the sea, birds may be found in all aspects of life. Some birds are confined to the ground or in the air due to unfortunate circumstances, while others are only able to fly. In this article, we’ll talk about water-fowling birds that can swim underwater. These birds may be found in lakes, rivers, and streams as well as the ocean under the name waterbirds or aquatic birds. They have certain qualities that allow them to swim through the water with ease.

To understand more about the birds, let’s take a quick look at the photos of them swimming beneath water.


We’ll look at ten different kinds of birds that swim underwater in this article, including:

  • Ducks
  • Swans
  • Cormorants
  • Loons
  • Pelicans
  • Penguins
  • Puffins
  • Coots
  • Grebes
  • Geese


Ducks are one of the most popular aquatic birds, and they’re probably the first ones you think of. Ducks spend the majority of their time in water, but they do come out to do things like lay eggs, sleep, or walk about on occasion.

There are dozens of different duck species throughout the globe. Ducks may be found in the wild, but they are often domesticated or reared as livestock.


Another group of waterbirds is swans, which are recognized for their regality and attitude. They are distant cousins because they belong to the same taxonomic group as ducks! Swans will frequently only float on the surface, but they may also dive below on rare occasions. Surprisingly, all (unmarked) swans discovered in the UK are owned by the Queen of England.

Except for Africa and Antartica, where there are seven different species of swans, they can only be found in captivity. The Trumpeter Swan, Tundra Swan, and Mute Swan are three of the seven species of swans found in North America.


A Cormorant is a large, black or dark brown bird that perches on a rock with its wings spread out, which you may have seen if you’ve ever driven or walked along the shore. Cormorants are accomplished divers who feed on eels, fish, and occasionally watersnakes by moving swiftly through the water.

The Cormorant family, or the Phalacrocoracidae family, is a large group with up to 40 different species of Cormorants. With the exception of the central Pacific Islands, cormorants are coastal birds that can be found all around the globe.


A loon is both a kind of diving bird and an insult for a crazy person. Loons are members of their own taxonomic family and have a comparable body plan to ducks. They may be similar in size. The roars of loons over still waters in the early hours of the morning are their most well-known characteristics.

Loon species may be found in freshwater habitats all throughout North America, as well as much of Northern Eurasia, and there are five of them. Loons may be found in abundance in New England Lakes, as well as other parts of the United States.


Pelicans, most notably recognized for their huge pouches attached to their beaks, are a spectacular group of waterbirds. Prior to swallowing their prey, pelicans utilize these throat pouches to assist them collect fish and then drain the water. Pelicans migrate and hunt in flocks or groups. Unfortunately for Pelicans, many recreational fisherman consider them a pest and have been known to get caught or entangled by fishing gear.

Except for Antarctica, where there are eight different kinds of Pelicans, they may be found worldwide. Warm, coastal habitats are preferred by Pelicans. It is common in the Southern states of Florida, Louisiana, and Texas to see Pelicans.


One of the most well-known underwater birds is the penguin. They sail through the water like they’re flying, with a grace that’s amazing to watch. These birds spend nearly half of their time on land and half in the water. Penguins, which include fish, krill, and squid, expertly pursue their marine prey.

The Southern Hemisphere is home to all of the Penguins except one, which is found in the Northern Hemisphere. The number of species of Penguins is a source of controversy among scientists, but it is between 17 and 20 different species. Several penguin species dwell in warmer, more temperate regions like South Africa and South America, however Antarctica is traditionally associated with them.


Puffins are tiny, waterfowl that are masters of swimming. They have a similar coloration to Penguins, but they aren’t closely related. Puffins, unlike penguins, can fly and swim. Puffins, which live in huge colonies and nestle in rock clefts and cliffs, are gregarious birds. Puffins may beat their wings up to 400 times per minute while flying.

Puffins may only be found in three different species, all of which reside in Northern Hemisphere coastal environments. The coasts of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are also home to puffins. Only states with colder temperatures, such as Maine and Alaska, are suitable for Puffins since they live in colder climates.


Duck-shaped waterbirds with a smaller beak. Coots come in a variety of colors, but their plumage is invariably dark and black, making it simple to differentiate between them. Coots feed primarily on aquatic vegetation and may consume small vertebrates in freshwater environments.

On every continent except Antarctica, Coots may be found: ten distinct species. Southern and Central America are home to six of the ten Coot species.


Diving birds, such as grebes, are far more at ease in water than on land. They can also fly, although they only do so for brief periods of time and cover modest distances. Grebes build floating nests of reeds and other plants, unlike other aquatic birds that lay their eggs on land. Swimming ability is evident in grebe hatchlings, which explains why they prefer water to land!

Grebes prefer freshwater environments, but during migration or the winter season, they may be found in marine or ocean environments. Grebes come in 22 different species, with the exception of Antarctica, and can be found on every continent.


Geese are aquatic birds that spend the majority of their time floating and swimming on the surface of ponds and lakes, similar to Ducks and Swans. They graze on watery vegetation by extending their whole head underwater, which gives them long necks. In the face of a danger, geese have been known to dive as a means of escape.

Geese are most often seen in freshwater settings with plenty of grass to eat on. Except for Antarctica, where there are no Geese species, they can be found all over the globe.


Many families and groups of birds may be broken up into various categories, as may be seen on this list- some of which are able to swim and dive! Our planet’s birds prove to be incredibly dynamic and impressive, as these animals demonstrate.

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