Last Updated on January 15, 2022 by Guillermina
Calling all avid birders from the Beehive State. Our feature lists out the best birds native to Utah to watch out for in your backyard!
Utah is famous for some of the best skiing in the United States. But it is also home to several spectacular species of birds.
That’s why, if you’re a birdwatching fan in the Beehive State, you don’t want to miss out on this article. We’ve compiled a seminal list of some of the famous birds of the state. And going through it is sure to up your chances of winning the next birdwatching event.
You can stop searching for terms like – birds of Utah identification – on Google now! Instead, go through our list and discover which species you have a higher chance of spotting. Ready? Here goes!
6 Most Famous Birds in Utah
Don’t be disheartened by the fact that some of these species are common Utah birds. Remember, birding is mainly about the joy of observing nature. Plus, the number of birds observed matters too! So, here are six of the likeliest avifauna to encounter anywhere in the state, including your backyard.
1. European Starling
European Starling (Sturnus Vulgaris) is a beautifully patterned bird that is super easy to spot in Utah. It’s 8 inches long from its tail to the bill.
Besides that, Starlings have large heads and short tails. However, they have long legs and a bill as long as their head. The color combination isn’t the most vivid in the avian kingdom, but they’re pretty unique in their own right.
The bill of a European Starling is yellow during spring and then changes its color to brown. Its coat is a mixture of black, brown, and white specks, which somehow looks iridescent.
The species reside in urban and suburban areas. Surprisingly enough, Starlings are known to be bullies and steal food and nesting cavities from other birds.
2. House Finch
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a finch easily found in residential areas, hence its name.
It is a short bird, only 6 inches long. A house finch’s body and tail are medium in length, whereas its head is round. It has a short conical bill, but the most distinctive factor is the male house finch’s red, orange or yellow breast and crown. The rest of their body has grayish-brown streaks.
They are most commonly found in rural areas, but they also reside in short trees and bushes and can be found on wires. They feed on flower seeds.
3. American Robin
Another worthy contender for the ‘birds native to Utah’ list is the American Robin. Also known as Turdus migratorius, this adorable little birdie resides in the Northern United States. It tends to fly to Southern US in the winters.
The American Robin may qualify as one of the most common birds of Utah, but that doesn’t stop it from having quite a distinctive appearance. You will find that an American Robin has a plump body with a long, pointed tail. Its beak is lean and straight and slightly curved on top. The most distinctive feature is the bird’s orange breast with a brownish-gray back.
American Robins tend to prefer residing in woodlands, near trees, farms, lawns, parks, and gardens. It feeds on invertebrates and small fruits. Additionally, the song of an American Robin is a sign of the commencement of spring.
4. Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves may not feature on everyone’s favorite birds’ list, but they’ve got a beauty of their own. The birds of this species are a whopping 12 inches in length but have graceful forms nonetheless. They also have the ability to puff up their feathers, which makes them appear plumper than they are.
Mourning Doves are hard-to-pin-shade of brown and pink, but their wings are darker than their bodies and include white stripes. They’re remarkably easy to spot too. From urban centers to farmlands and forests – you’re pretty likely to run into these species just about anywhere.
Their call is soft-toned and a bit long-drawn, which gives it a type of sadness—that’s where mourning doves get their names from.
5. Black-billed Magpie
Black-billed Magpie (Pica Hudsonia) is known for its bright colors and long tail.
A black-billed magpie is the same size as a crow and has similar features, but its flashy-colored feathers and incredibly long tail set it apart. The bird has a thick neck, a large head, and strong legs. Fun fact, the black-billed magpie’s tail is almost as long as its entire body. Its bill is long and black, and it has bright blueish green highlights starting from the wings to its tail.
You can find Magpies in open lands, including countryside and farmlands. Their call is loud and noisy, just like a crow’s. Magpies are omnivorous in nature and eat everything from fruits to pet food.
6. House Sparrow
Clocking in at number six on our birds native to Utah list is the House Sparrow. In other words, another oldie, but certainly a goodie as well.
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a widespread bird species worldwide and, sadly, qualifies as a pest. It is prevalent in cities and farmlands. The sparrow has a plump body, short legs, a short neck, a large head, and a medium tail. Males usually have a brown and black coat with a black mask on their heads. Females are more tan and brown without the mask.
These birds appear in flocks and can have strong appetites. They also get aggressive towards other small birds (though that’s hard to imagine). And, their feed consists of seeds, grains, and worms.
There are quite a few birds we couldn’t manage to fit into this list—for instance, Hairy Woodpeckers, Wrens, Black-capped Chickadees, among others.
But, as the saying goes, we’re limited by time and space (quite literally). However, there’s nothing to stop you from jotting down these birds as ‘seen’ in your journal and going after more.
After all, birding is more about the experience than actual points. Always remember that rule number one is having a great time, be it birding or anything else.