Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

41 Birds that Fly in V Formation (A to Z List with Pictures)

Birds that Fly in V Formation

Birds that fly in v formation include Australian Pelican, Bar-Headed Goose, Barnacle Goose, Bean Goose, and Black Crowned Crane.

The most efficient way for birds to fly is in a V formation. This allows them to take advantage of the wind and save energy while flying.

When birds fly in this formation, it creates an air current that helps them fly further and faster.

The front bird in the formation is responsible for steering and the rest of the birds follow.

Birds that fly in a V formation are usually associated with migration, but they can also be used for long-distance travel. Some of the common birds that fly in a V formation include geese, pelicans, and eagles.

Examples of Birds that Fly in V Formation

1. Australian Pelican

Scientific NamePelecanus conspicillatus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAustralia
DietOmnivore

The Australian Pelican is a large, white bird that can be found in the wetlands of Australia and New Guinea. They are known for their distinctive V formation when flying.

2. Bar-Headed Goose

Scientific NameAnser indicus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern India and Burma
DietHerbivore

The Bar-Headed Goose is a bird that lives in the Himalayas. They are known for their distinctive V formation when flying, which they do to migrate over high mountains like Mount Everest.

3. Barnacle Goose

Scientific NameBranta leucopsis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeGreenland
DietOmnivore

The Barnacle Goose is a small waterfowl that can be found in the Northern Hemisphere. They are known for flying in V formations and their noise when flapping wings.

They nest on cliffs or rocky outcrops near water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. Their diet consists mostly of vegetative matter like grass, leaves, and shoots.

4. Bean Goose

Scientific NameAnser fabalis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern Europe and Eurosiberia
DietHerbivore

The Bean Goose is a common bird that can be found in Europe and Asia. They are known for their black and white feathers, and they often fly in a V formation.

5. Black Crowned Crane

Scientific NameBalearica pavonina
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeequatorial Africa
DietOmnivore

The Black Crowned Crane is a large bird that can be found in Africa. They are known for their beautiful plumage and graceful flying style.

6. Black Swan

Scientific NameCygnus atratus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAustralia
DietHerbivore

The Black Swan is a large bird that can weigh up to 20 pounds. It has long legs and wings, which help it fly at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. They usually live in groups called flocks or colonies, although some individuals prefer solitary living conditions.

Related Article: Do Black Swan Have Long Neck?

7. Black-Headed Gull

Scientific NameChroicocephalus ridibundus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Palearctic including Europe and also in coastal eastern Canada
DietOmnivore

The black-headed gull is a common bird that can be found in Europe and North America. It is a medium-sized bird with a wingspan of about three feet.

This gull usually flies in a V formation, but it can also fly in groups of two or three. It migrates south for the winter and can be found in coastal areas.

8. Black-Tailed Gull

Scientific NameLarus crassirostris
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Philippines
DietOmnivore

The black-tailed gull is a seabird that can be found in coastal areas around the world. They are known for their distinctive black tail feathers and white body.

Black-tailed Gulls typically fly information when they are migrating, but they will also form groups during other times of the year. When they are flying in formation, they will use the wind to their advantage and can fly at speeds of up to 45 mph.

9. Blue Crane

Scientific NameAnthropoides paradiseus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouth Africa
DietHerbivore

The blue crane is the tallest flying bird in the world, with a wingspan of up to eight feet. It is one of the few birds that can fly at altitudes above 20,000 feet (6000 meters).

The small head and long neck help reduce drag while soaring through air currents created by other birds flying in V formation. Its primary diet consists of grasses and seeds, but it also eats insects such as termites.

10. Brant

Scientific NameBranta bernicla
Type of AnimalBird
Rangewestern Europe
DietHerbivore

The brant is a small, black-and-white goose that is common in North America. It migrates to the Arctic each year to breed and then returns to its wintering grounds in the United States and Canada.

11. Brown Pelicans

Scientific NamePelecanus occidentalis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Americas
DietCarnivore

The brown pelican is a large bird that can be found in coastal areas all over the world. It has a wingspan of up to nine feet and can weigh up to fifteen pounds.

Pelicans fly in a V formation when they are migrating, but they also use this formation for long-distance travel. In fact, flying in a V formation is more efficient than flying solo.

Related Article: Can Brown Pelican Dive?

12. Cackling Goose

Scientific NameBranta hutchinsii
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada
DietHerbivore

The cackling goose is a smaller subspecies of the Canada goose. It has a shorter neck and bill, as well as shorter legs than its larger cousin.

The name “cackling” comes from their distinctive call which sounds like a bark or yelp when they are flying overhead in groups during migration season.

13. Canada Goose

Scientific NameBranta canadensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada
DietOmnivore

The Canada goose is one of the most recognizable birds that fly in a V formation. They are large, gray-brown waterfowl with long necks and black bills.

Their wingspan can reach up to eight feet, making them one of the heaviest flying birds around.

14. Common Crane

Scientific NameGrus grus
Type of AnimalBird
Range Sudan, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Eritrea
DietOmnivore

The Common Crane is a large bird that can be found in Europe and Asia. They are known for their V formation flying, which helps them conserve energy while migrating.

15. Common Gull

Scientific NameLarus canus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern Europe
DietCarnivore

The Common Gull is a species of gull that can be found in the North Atlantic Ocean. They are medium-sized birds with white, silver-gray, or grayish bodies and black wings.

The common gulls have an average body length of 50–63 cm (19.68–24.80 in) with a wingspan ranging from 115–140 cm (45.27–55.12 in). They weigh between 900 g (31.75 oz) and 1800 g (63.49 oz).

16. Cormorants

Scientific NamePhalacrocoracidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America
DietCarnivore

Cormorants are birds that live near the water and can be found in both North America and Europe. They have a wingspan of about four feet and are black or dark green in color.

Cormorants typically fly in a V formation when they migrate, but they can also use this formation for long-distance travel. They are very efficient flyers and can travel long distances without stopping.

17. Emperor Geese

Scientific NameAnser canagicus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeeastern Russia
DietHerbivore

The Emperor Goose is a large bird that can be found in North America. It has a wingspan of about six feet and is mostly white in color.

The Emperor Goose is one of the most common birds that fly in a V formation. They use this formation to save energy when they migrate, but it can also be used for long-distance travel.

18. Flamingos

Scientific NamePhoenicopterus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeMexico, South America
DietOmnivore

Flamingos are birds that live near the water and can be found in both North America and Europe. They have a wingspan of about four feet and are pink or orange in color.

Flamingos typically fly in a V formation when they migrate, but they can also use this formation for long-distance travel. They are very efficient flyers and can travel long distances without stopping.

Related Article: Do Flamingos Go Through Metamorphosis?

19. Glaucous Gull

Scientific NameLarus hyperboreus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern Canada east
DietOmnivore

The Glaucous Gull is a large bird that can be found in North America and Europe. It has a wingspan of about four feet and is white or light gray in color.

The Glaucous Gull is one of the birds that fly in a V formation during migration. They use this formation to save energy and travel further distances.

20. Great White Pelican

Scientific NamePelecanus onocrotalus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesoutheastern Europe through Asia and Africa
DietCarnivore

The great white pelican is a large bird that can be found in Africa, the Middle East, and India. It has a wingspan of up to ten feet and is white with a yellow bill.

The great white pelican typically flies in a V formation when it migrates, but it can also use this formation for long-distance travel.

21. Gray Crowned Crane

Scientific NameBalearica regulorum
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeeastern and southern Africa
DietOmnivore

The Gray Crowned Crane is a bird that can be found in Africa. It has a wingspan of about five feet and is white or light grey in color.

The Gray Crowned Crane flies in a V formation when it migrates, but it can also use this formation for long-distance travel. It is a very efficient flyer and can travel long distances without stopping.

22. Gray Gull

Scientific NameLeucophaeus modestus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouth America
DietCarnivore

Grey gulls are a species of seabirds that live in the Americas and Asia. Their wingspan is about one meter wide, making them one of the largest birds on earth.

Grey gulls travel at speeds up to 65 km/h when flying long distances over open water or deserts. They have been known for reaching altitudes as high as 30,000 meters above sea level when migrating.

23. Greylag Goose

Scientific NameAnser anser
Type of AnimalBird
RangeIceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland
DietOmnivore

The greylag goose is the most common bird that flies in a V formation. They are found in Europe, Asia, and North America.

24. Ibis

Scientific NameThreskiornithinae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAustralia
DietCarnivore

The ibis is another bird that flies in a V formation. They are found in Africa and parts of Asia, including India and Thailand. They have long legs with which they can wade through water as well as flightless wings for short flights over land or water. They feed on fish, frogs, lizards, insects, and small rodents.

25. Mallard

Scientific NameAnas platyrhynchos
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAsia, Europe, and North America
DietOmnivore

The mallard is a medium-sized dabbling duck with brownish plumage and orange legs. It is found in Eurasia, North America, Central America, South America, Africa (south of the Sahara), Madagascar.

Mallards are often seen flying in V formations during migration season or when they are traveling long distances.

26. Marbled Duck

Scientific NameMarmaronetta angustirostris
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern Europe, northern Africa, and western and central Asia.
DietOmnivore

The marbled duck is found in Europe, Asia, and North America. It has a brownish plumage with white spots on its wings. The marbled duck can be seen flying in V formations during migration season or when it travels long distances.

27. Mottled Duck

Scientific NameAnas fulvigula
Type of AnimalBird
RangeMexico
DietOmnivore

The mottled duck is found in Central and South America. It has a brownish plumage with white spots on its wings. The mottled duck can be seen flying in V formations during migration season or when it travels long distances.

28. Mute Swan

Scientific NameCygnus olor
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe British Isles, northern Europe and north central Asia
DietOmnivore

The mute swan is a large waterbird with white plumage and an orange bill. It has black legs and feet. Mute swans are typically found in Eurasia, North America, Central America, South America, Africa (south of the Sahara), Madagascar.

Read Also: Can Mute Swan be Black & White?

29. Nene

Scientific NameBranta sandvicensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAmerica
DietOmnivore

The nene is the official state bird of Hawaii. It is a small, brown goose that is found only in Hawaii. The nene often flies in V formations while migrating or when they are traveling long distances.

30. Pink-Footed Goose

Scientific NameAnser brachyrhynchus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeGreenland, Iceland, and Spitsbergen
DietHerbivore

The pink-footed goose is a medium-sized goose that is found in Europe and Asia. They are usually seen flying in V formations during their migration season.

31. Red-Breasted Goose

Scientific NameBranta ruficollis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeArctic Russia
DietOmnivore

The red-breasted goose is a migratory bird that can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America. They are usually seen flying in V formations during their migration.

32. Ring-Billed Gull

Scientific NameLarus delawarensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada and the northern United States
DietCarnivore

The ring-billed gull is a common seagull found in North America. They are usually seen flying in large flocks and can be identified by their yellow bill with a black ring around it.

33. Ross’s Goose

Scientific NameChen rossii
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada
DietOmnivore

The Ross’s goose is a small North American goose that is found in the tundra and wetlands of Alaska and Canada. They are rarely seen flying in a V formation but have been known to do so on occasion.

34. Silver Gull

Scientific NameChroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAustralia
DietCarnivore

The silver gull is a species of seabird from the gull family Laridae. It is found in Australia and New Zealand, where it breeds on coastal islands or rocky shores. During the winter months, they migrate to southern parts of Australia like Tasmania and Victoria.

35. Snow Goose

Scientific NameChen caerulescens
Type of AnimalBird
RangeGreenland, Canada, Alaska
DietHerbivore

The snow goose is a large North American goose that can be found in the arctic and subarctic regions. They are known for their white plumage and black wingtips. Snow geese often fly in V formations during their annual migration south.

36. Swan Goose

Scientific NameAnser cygnoides
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeinland Mongolia, northernmost China, and the Russian Far East
DietHerbivore

The swan goose is a large waterfowl found in Europe and Asia. They are often seen flying in V formations during migration season or when they are traveling long distances.

37. Trumpeter Swan

Scientific NameCygnus buccinator
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America
DietOmnivore

The trumpeter swan is a large bird that lives in the Arctic tundra. It is the largest species of swan and can weigh up to 25 pounds (11 kg).

38. Tula Fighting Goose

Scientific NameТульская бойцовая
Type of AnimalBird
RangeRussia
DietHerbivore

The Tula fighting goose is a rare breed of goose that is found in Russia. They are known for their aggressive behavior and are often seen fighting with other geese.

39. Tundra Swan

Scientific NameCygnus columbianus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America
DietOmnivore

The tundra swan is a large white bird that breeds in the Arctic and migrates to warmer areas in the winter. They are usually seen flying in V formations during their migration flights.

40. Whooper Swan

Scientific NameCygnus cygnus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeFinland
DietOmnivore

The whooper swan is a large white swan found in Europe and Asia. They are usually seen flying in V formations during migration season or when they are traveling long distances.

41. Yellow-Legged Gull

Scientific NameLarus michahellis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, the Middle East and North Africa
DietOmnivore

The yellow-legged gull is a medium-sized seagull with white plumage, black wingtips, and orange legs. It is found in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa (south of Sahara), South America. Yellow-legged gulls are often seen flying in V formations during migration season.

Skip to content