Can Emus Swim? Do They Enjoy It?

Can Emus Swim

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The world’s second-largest bird might have tiny useless wings but they happen to have long powerful legs.

Emus’ wings are too small and weak to carry the body weight. Having puny wings makes them flightless, however, their strong legs introduce them as a powerful runner.

They can run breathtakingly fast and jump as high as up to 7 feet. The height, ability to run fastest and jump highest make emus unique from the other birds.

Yes, emus can swim. Even though emus are not aquatic birds yet they swim as well as they do. For their ability to swim well, the emus are known as powerful swimmers.

How Do Emus Swim?

Emus usually weigh up to 37 kgs. For a bird, 37 kgs are quite a lot of weight. Since emus are heavy and they do not have webbed feet either, it makes us wonder how these flightless birds swim?

We must not forget that emus do not have webbed feet that help aquatic birds in swimming better.

However, they have powerful legs to support this action. Emus take a dip in water and move their legs in the same pattern as they move on the ground.

Moving their legs in the same patterns makes emus swim in the water. Besides their powerful legs, the emus have no secret organ or anything to support swimming.

Emus use their legs

All those birds who have been blessed with the ability to swim use their wings and webbed feet(if they have got) to swim.

The emus and ostriches case is different, they have got puny wings. Their wings can neither help them in taking a flight nor a good swim.

They are only capable of assisting these birds in stabilizing the walk or run. However, emus walk backward sometimes.

Since emus’ wings are too small and weak to support swimming. So, they use their legs to stay afloat and keep swimming.

That’s not all, emus love swimming

Swimming is one of the emus’ favorite activities to do especially in summers. Whenever they get a chance to get into the water, emus begin swimming and keep on swimming until they are tired. However, they rarely get a chance to swim.

Unfortunately, emus rarely get a chance to swim

The domestic emus hardly get a chance to swim and we know why it is so. The wild emus also do not swim quite often.

The wild emus don’t go out for habitual swimming as they spend most of their day roaming around for food.

Swimming is only checked off the list when they have to cross a river, pond, lake or even a pool of water. However, in summers they do search for something nearby to swim and cool down.

They are natural swimmers

These semi-wild birds do not need to learn the art of swimming at all, they are naturally good swimmers. It might scare them for a while but the fear vanishes away as soon as they get into the water.


Can you take your pet emu swimming?

Yes, you can take your emu swimming. Emus are natural swimmers. However, the pet emus might get overwhelmed seeing water or having their feathers soaking wet for the first time. The wild emus are not afraid of water, they swim quite often.

How often do emus swim?

Emus love swimming. However, they spend most of their time roaming around for food. The said flightless birds swim only when they have to cross a lake or a pool of water.

Do ostriches and emus swim?

Yes, both flightless birds can swim. They are often noticed swimming along with the boat in lakes.

Emus do not have webbed feet or strong wings, how do they swim?

It is believed and observed, all birds that can swim have either webbed feet or strong wings. The webbed feet and wings help in keeping the bird afloat. The emus neither have webbed feet nor strong wings, however, they have strong powerful legs. These flightless use these powerful legs to run, jump and swim.

Which flightless bird is a better swimmer? Ostrich or emu?

Ostriches and emus are both powerful swimmers. It’s hard to tell who swims better as both flightless birds swim equally well.

Is the ostrich the only flightless bird who swims?

No, most of the birds who have not been blessed with the ability to fly know the art of swimming. Ostrich is not the only flightless bird who swims, Emus, penguins, and ducks are also powerful swimmers.

Emus do not swim quite often, does that mean they hate swimming?

No, emus happen to love swimming. It’s just that emus have to roam around for food, they hardly get a chance to swim. However, whenever they have to swim through a lake or river, they thoroughly enjoy it.


Yes, emus can swim and they happen to love swimming as well. The said flightless birds are powerful swimmers, they use their legs to swim through the rivers, lakes, ponds, pools of water.

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