Can Pheasants Swim? Yes, They Can! And Here’s Why!

If you’re like most people, you probably think pheasants can’t swim. After all, they don’t have a back and their wings are too short. So, can pheasants swim or not?

Yes, pheasants can swim, but they do it infrequently, preferring to keep their feet on dry land. Thanks to their large bodies, they lack the agility in the water than smaller birds possess and are better suited to paddling in a pond or river than swimming in an ocean or lake.

How Pheasants Can Swim

Pheasants use their wings for swimming like ducks or other waterfowl. They are able to stay afloat in the water and move around. Pheasants are not graceful swimmers, but they can get around pretty well just by flapping their wings.

Pheasants will often try to escape predators by swimming across bodies of water. This works well as many of their predators do not want to get wet.

What Makes Pheasant Able To Swim?

If you’ve ever seen a pheasant, you know that they’re not exactly built like swimmers. Their legs are long and thin, and their bodies are covered in feathers—which don’t exactly seem ideal for propelling oneself through the water. So how is it that they can swim?

It’s because of their wings.

Their wings have evolved to be strong enough to both help them fly and propel them through the water. And although their legs aren’t shaped like flippers, their feet are webbed, which also helps them move more quickly through the water.

This means that when pheasants need to escape predators, they don’t just run away—they might make a run for it… but then jump into the nearest river or lake and start swimming away from danger. Sure, they might not be able to stay in the water as long as other birds (like ducks), but it does buy them some time to get out of sight of predators.

Do You Need A Pond For Pheasants?

Yes, you need a pond or a small body of water for pheasants.

Why? Well, pheasants are waterfowl, so they need water to drink. They also like to bathe in it. But ponds are more than just a source of H2O—they’re also a great source of food for these birds. Pheasants eat aquatic insects and fish eggs, which is why we recommend that your pheasants be kept in an area where there’s a good supply of these creatures.

Can Pheasants Drown In The Water?

Yes, pheasants can drown in water.

Like chickens, pheasants are generally fine in the water and will often take baths to preen themselves.

However, if they get caught by a current of water, they can panic and drown. This is often the result of predators pursuing them into the water.

Also, if the water is deep enough that the pheasant can’t reach the bottom with its feet, then the pheasant will drown. So it’s best to make sure that if your pheasant is going to be in the water, it won’t end up in too deep of a body of water by accident.

And of course, if you’re concerned about your pheasant drowning in a pool or other manmade body of water, you can also look into putting a fence around your pool just to be safe!


Yes, pheasants can swim. In fact, most waterfowl species are excellent swimmers. Due to their buoyant, fatty breast meat, diving is quite natural for them. Pheasants spend most of their time on land, but they still need access to water in order to satisfy their daily drinking needs. They can use the water for bathing and swimming, too.