Things That Can Fly

Welcome to our list of things that can fly! ✈️🚀🪽

Flight is a remarkable phenomenon observed in various aspects of the natural world and human engineering. From the grace of birds soaring through the sky to the ingenuity of human-made aircrafts breaking the sound barrier, the ability to take to the air has captivated our imagination for centuries. In this exploration, we delve into the diverse realm of things that can fly, encompassing both the natural wonders of avian life and the technological marvels that have allowed us to explore the skies.

Here’s a gallery of things that can fly, with a categorised descriptive list underneath:



This list showcases the remarkable diversity of birds from various ecosystems and regions, each with its unique characteristics and flight abilities. Birds have evolved to occupy diverse niches in the natural world, and their flight adaptations are a testament to their adaptability and survival strategies.

  • Bald Eagle: The national bird of the United States, known for its majestic flight.
  • Peregrine Falcon: Among the fastest birds, known for its high-speed hunting dives.
  • Albatross: Known for their incredible stamina during long-distance flights over the open ocean.
  • Hummingbird: Small and agile, capable of hovering in mid-air while feeding on nectar.
  • Swan: Graceful flyers often seen in pairs or family groups during migration.
  • Osprey: Fish-eating raptors known for their skillful dives to catch prey.
  • Snowy Owl: Large owls that can fly long distances during their annual migrations.
  • Hawk: Birds of prey with keen eyesight and powerful flight muscles.
  • Condor: Massive vultures known for their soaring flight in mountainous regions.
  • Canada Goose: Large waterfowl often seen flying in V-shaped formations during migration.
  • Mallard: Common ducks with distinctive iridescent green heads.
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk: Agile forest raptors known for hunting smaller birds.
  • Red-tailed Hawk: Predatory birds with a signature reddish tail.
  • Sandhill Crane: Large waders with elegant aerial displays during migration.
  • American Robin: A familiar songbird that flies long distances during seasonal movements.
  • Barn Swallow: Recognizable by their forked tails and acrobatic flight patterns.
  • Common Swift: Fast-flying birds capable of spending most of their lives in the air.
  • Common Starling: Known for their synchronized aerial displays called murmurations.
  • Northern Gannet: Skillful divers and gliders when hunting for fish.
  • African Grey Parrot: Intelligent parrots with strong wings used for flying in the wild.
  • Black-crowned Night Heron: Nocturnal herons known for their slow, steady flight.
  • Bee Hummingbird: The world’s smallest bird, capable of agile hovering.
  • Andean Condor: South American vultures with one of the largest wingspans in the world.
  • Secretary Bird: Raptors known for their terrestrial hunting but also capable of flying.
  • European Swallow: Migratory birds that travel long distances between continents.
  • Pigeon: Domestic pigeons, or rock doves, are common urban fliers.
  • Bald Ibis: Large wading birds known for their distinctive bald heads.
  • European Goldfinch: Small songbirds with striking red and yellow markings.
  • European Bee-eater: Colorful birds that catch and eat flying insects in mid-air.
  • Red-winged Blackbird: Males display bright red wing patches during flight.
  • Wood Duck: Distinctive ducks with colorful plumage often seen near wooded habitats.
  • Puffin: Seabirds with colorful beaks that fly with rapid wingbeats.
  • American Kestrel: Small falcons often seen hovering while hunting for prey.
  • Budgerigar: Common pet parakeets that are also skilled flyers in the wild.
  • Herring Gull: Common coastal birds known for their opportunistic scavenging flights.
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Small birds with vibrant iridescent plumage.
  • Horned Lark: Songbirds that forage on the ground but take to the air for flight.
  • Red-winged Pheasant: Striking game birds with distinctive wing markings.
  • Northern Mockingbird: Songbirds known for their diverse vocalizations.
  • Golden Eagle: Large raptors with impressive soaring flights.
  • American White Pelican: Large waterbirds with soaring flight patterns.
  • Mute Swan: Silent swans that glide gracefully on still waters and fly with elegance.
  • Snow Goose: Migratory waterfowl with contrasting white and dark plumage.
  • American Coot: Waterbirds that switch between swimming and flying effortlessly.
  • Lilac-breasted Roller: African birds known for their aerial acrobatics during courtship displays.
  • Kookaburra: Australian kingfishers with a distinctive call and flight.
  • Laysan Albatross: Seabirds that undertake incredible long-distance flights across the Pacific Ocean.
  • Western Bluebird: Small thrushes known for their colorful plumage.
  • Monk Parakeet: Small parrots that build communal nests and are skilled flyers.
  • Cedar Waxwing: Social songbirds often seen in flocks during migration.


This list represents only a fraction of the insect diversity on our planet, and there are thousands of more species, each adapted to its unique ecological niche and flying capabilities.

  • Housefly: Small, nuisance insects often found indoors.
  • Honeybee: Important pollinators that produce honey.
  • Mosquito: Blood-feeding insects that can transmit diseases.
  • Butterfly: Colorful insects known for their delicate, fluttering flight.
  • Dragonfly: Predatory insects with large, transparent wings.
  • Moth: Nocturnal cousins of butterflies, often attracted to lights.
  • Bee: Social insects that play a vital role in pollination.
  • Ant: Social insects with various species capable of flight during swarming.
  • Grasshopper: Herbivorous insects known for their jumping abilities.
  • Cicada: Loud, singing insects that emerge periodically.
  • Firefly: Bioluminescent insects known for their evening displays.
  • Ladybug: Small, brightly colored beetles often associated with good luck.
  • Wasp: Predatory and parasitic insects with painful stings.
  • Crane Fly: Often mistaken for giant mosquitoes, they are harmless.
  • Mayfly: Aquatic insects with a short adult lifespan.
  • Mantis: Predatory insects with a distinctive “praying” posture.
  • Stink Bug: Shield-shaped insects known for their foul odor.
  • Beetle: The largest order of insects, including diverse flying species.
  • Fly: Varied species, including fruit flies, horse flies, and more.
  • Aphid: Small, sap-sucking insects that can reproduce rapidly.
  • Termite: Social insects known for their wood-digesting abilities.
  • Earwig: Flat insects with pincers on their abdomen.
  • Bumblebee: Fuzzy, large bees known for buzz pollination.
  • Fruit Fly: Tiny insects that are common in kitchens and around fruit.
  • Gnat: Small, often annoying flying insects found near water.
  • Bark Beetle: Beetle species that infest and damage trees.
  • Leafhopper: Herbivorous insects known for their jumping ability.
  • Cockroach: Resilient insects that can fly and adapt to various environments.
  • Horsefly: Large, biting flies found in rural areas.
  • Thrips: Tiny, slender insects often found on flowers.
  • Midge: Small, delicate flies often seen near water bodies.
  • Dobsonfly: Aquatic insects with distinctive, long mandibles.
  • Robber Fly: Predatory flies with strong flying abilities.
  • Walking Stick: Stick-like insects that mimic twigs.
  • Syrphid Fly: Hoverflies that mimic bees and play a role in pollination.
  • Caddisfly: Aquatic insects known for their larval cases.
  • Stonefly: Aquatic insects often used as indicators of water quality.
  • Antlion: Insects known for creating funnel-shaped sand traps.
  • Mud Dauber: Wasps that build mud nests.
  • Silver Ant: Desert-dwelling ants known for their silver color.
  • Hornet: Large, aggressive wasps known for their painful stings.
  • Stone Beetle: Beetles with a hardened exoskeleton.


These flying mammals have evolved unique adaptations for powered flight or gliding, making them a fascinating and diverse group in the animal kingdom.

  • Common Vampire Bat: Feeds on blood and is found in the Americas.
  • Honduran White Bat: Small, tent-making bats with distinctive white fur.
  • Spectacled Flying Fox: Large fruit bats found in Australia.
  • Bumblebee Bat: The world’s smallest bat, native to Thailand and Myanmar.
  • Indian Flying Fox: One of the largest bats, found in South Asia.
  • Gray-headed Flying Fox: Large bats native to Australia.
  • Brazilian Free-tailed Bat: Found in the Americas and known for its high-speed flight.
  • Northern Long-eared Bat: Found in North America and known for long ears.
  • Greater Horseshoe Bat: European bat with distinctive horseshoe-shaped nose.
  • Flying Lemur: Not a true lemur, it’s a gliding mammal found in Southeast Asia.
  • Southern Flying Squirrel: Small, nocturnal squirrels known for gliding.
  • Colugo: Also known as the Sunda flying lemur, found in Southeast Asia.
  • Greater Glider: Large gliding marsupial native to Australia.
  • Kitti’s Hog-nosed Bat: Also known as the bumblebee bat, it’s the smallest bat.
  • Western Mastiff Bat: Found in the Americas and known for its large ears.
  • New Zealand Lesser Short-tailed Bat: Unique bat species from New Zealand.
  • Brazilian Brown Bat: Widespread bat species in the Americas.
  • Madagascan Flying Fox: Large fruit bat endemic to Madagascar.
  • Black Flying Fox: Native to Australia and Southeast Asia.
  • Hoary Bat: Found in the Americas and known for its distinctive fur.
  • Lesser Long-nosed Bat: Important pollinators in the southwestern United States and Mexico.
  • Eastern Red Bat: Found in North America and recognized by its red fur.
  • Gould’s Wattled Bat: Native to Australia and known for its wattles.
  • Natterer’s Bat: European bat species.
  • Northern Yellow Bat: Native to the Americas.
  • Northern Blossom Bat: Found in Australia and New Guinea.
  • Greater Bulldog Bat: Central and South American bat species.
  • Brazilian Brown-eyed Bat: Found in Central and South America.
  • Sooty Moustached Bat: Found in the Americas.
  • Pygmy Fruit Bat: Southeast Asian bat species.


While reptiles are not known for powered flight like birds or bats, these species have evolved unique adaptations to glide or parachute through the air, allowing them to move between trees or escape from predators.

  • Paradise Tree Snake: Also known as the paradise flying snake, it can glide through the air in Southeast Asia.
  • Chrysopelea ornata: This species of flying snake is found in Southeast Asia and is known for its gliding behavior.
  • Chrysopelea paradisi: Another flying snake species found in Southeast Asia, it is capable of gliding from trees.
  • Draco Lizards: These lizards, also known as flying dragons, have specialized wing-like structures that allow them to glide between trees in Southeast Asia.
  • Kuehneosaurus: An extinct gliding reptile that lived during the Late Triassic period, known for its wing-like membranes.
  • Xianglong zhaoi: Another extinct gliding reptile from the Late Triassic period, with wing-like structures.
  • Sharovipteryx: An extinct reptile from the Late Triassic period, known for its gliding adaptations.
  • Icarosaurus: An extinct gliding reptile from the Late Triassic period, with wing-like appendages.
  • Coelurosauravus: An extinct gliding reptile from the Permian period, known for its wing-like structures.
  • Weigeltisaurus: An extinct gliding reptile from the Late Triassic period, with wing-like membranes.


Flying fish are remarkable for their ability to leap out of the water and glide for considerable distances above the surface, using their modified pectoral fins. This adaptation helps them evade predators and cover greater distances in search of food or suitable breeding grounds.

  • Exocoetidae Family: This family includes numerous species of flying fish found in oceans worldwide. Some examples include the Exocoetus volitans (flying gurnard) and the Hirundichthys affinis (Japanese flying fish).
  • Parexocoetus brachypterus: Also known as the shortwing flying fish, it is found in tropical and subtropical waters.
  • Cheilopogon spilonotopterus: This flying fish species is known for its distinctive black pectoral fins and is found in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Cypselurus hexazona: A species found in the eastern Pacific Ocean and known for its striking yellow coloration.
  • Fodiator rochebrunei: Found in the western Indian Ocean, this species is known for its long pectoral fins.
  • Oxyporhamphus micropterus: This flying fish species is found in the western Atlantic Ocean and has small, round wings.

Everyday Objects

These everyday objects can provide entertainment, leisure, or practical functions through their ability to fly or float in the air.

  • Paper Airplane: Folded sheets of paper designed to glide when thrown.
  • Kite: A lightweight, tethered object flown in the air for recreation or as a toy.
  • Frisbee: A flying disc used for various recreational games and sports.
  • Boomerang: A curved, flat object designed to return to the thrower when thrown correctly.
  • Sky Lantern: A small, paper lantern with an open flame that lifts it into the air.
  • Balloons: Inflatable objects filled with helium or air that can float in the atmosphere.
  • Drones: Remote-controlled unmanned aircraft used for various purposes, including photography and surveillance.
  • Friction-Powered Toys: Small toys that use friction to generate lift and move through the air.
  • Model Rockets: Small, propelled rockets used for hobby or educational purposes.
  • Gliders: Small, non-powered aircraft designed for soaring and gliding.
  • Bubbles: Spherical soap films that can float in the air before bursting.
  • Helicopter Seed Pods: Seeds of certain trees, like maple, with wing-like structures that enable them to spin and float in the wind.
  • Parachute Toys: Small toy parachutes attached to figurines that can be thrown into the air.
  • Flying Disc Toys: Various flying disc toys, like frisbees, designed for play.
  • Flying Darts: Dart-like objects with wings that can be thrown at a target.
  • Toss Rings: Plastic rings designed to be thrown and caught in mid-air.
  • RC Gliders: Radio-controlled gliders used for hobby and recreational flying.
  • Flying Saucer Toys: Circular, spinning toys that can hover in the air.
  • Whirligigs: Wind-driven toys with spinning blades or propellers.
  • Rocket Fireworks: Fireworks that are launched into the sky with explosive propulsion.

Modes of Transport

These modes of transport that can fly serve various purposes, from passenger travel to military operations and exploration of space.

  • Airplane: Powered fixed-wing aircraft used for passenger and cargo transportation.
  • Helicopter: Rotary-wing aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing.
  • Glider: Non-powered aircraft designed for soaring and gliding using updrafts.
  • Hot Air Balloon: Non-motorized aircraft that rises and floats due to heated air.
  • Airship: Lighter-than-air aircraft filled with a gas, like helium or hydrogen.
  • Jetpack: Personal powered flight device worn by an individual.
  • Hang Glider: Lightweight gliding aircraft with a harness suspended from a frame.
  • Paraglider: Parachute-like gliding aircraft used for recreational flying.
  • Ultralight Aircraft: Small, lightweight, and simple powered aircraft.
  • Spacecraft: Vehicles designed for travel in outer space.
  • Rocket: Vehicle that uses controlled explosions of propellant to move through space.
  • Seaplane: Aircraft capable of taking off and landing on water.
  • Flying Boat: Seaplane with a boat-like hull.
  • VTOL Aircraft: Vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, including tiltrotors.
  • VTOL Jet: Aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing using jet propulsion.
  • Gyrocopter: Rotary-wing aircraft with an unpowered rotor that auto-rotates during flight.
  • Paramotor: Powered paraglider with a motor and propeller.
  • Zeppelin: Type of airship with a rigid structure.
  • Quadcopter: Multirotor drone with four rotors.
  • Trike Ultralight: Ultralight aircraft with a delta-wing and a three-wheeled undercarriage.
  • Space Shuttle: Reusable spacecraft used by NASA for space missions.
  • Microlight Aircraft: Small and lightweight powered aircraft, often used for recreational flying.
  • Blimp: Non-rigid airship with a streamlined shape.
  • Autogyro: Rotary-wing aircraft with a freely rotating rotor.
  • Winged Suit: A type of personal flight suit with wings, enabling gliding.
  • Jet Suit: A wearable device with jet engines for personal flight.
  • Flying Car: Vehicles designed for both road and air travel.
  • Paramilitary Aircraft: Aircraft used for military purposes, including fighter jets and bombers.
  • Electric Air Taxi: Electrically powered aircraft designed for urban air mobility.
  • Bush Plane: Aircraft optimized for use in remote and rugged environments.
  • Airliner: Large commercial aircraft used for passenger transport.
  • Spaceplane: Aircraft designed for travel in both the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
  • UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle): Autonomous or remotely piloted aircraft used for various purposes, including military reconnaissance and surveillance.
  • Solar-Powered Aircraft: Aircraft powered by solar panels on the wings.
  • Supersonic Jet: Aircraft designed to travel at speeds exceeding the speed of sound.
  • Bi-plane: Aircraft with two sets of wings stacked one above the other.
  • Amphibious Aircraft: Aircraft capable of operating on both land and water.


We hope this list of things that can fly was useful and that you found what you needed!

We did our best to cover all of the different categories of flying things with our visual gallery and descriptive list. But if you feel there’s something we missed, please feel free to let us know and leave a comment.

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