It’s a big world of birds out there, and maybe you’ve already noticed a few of them. But have you ever tried to name a bird starting with the letter U? It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. U’s are hard to think of birds for. But that’s where this handy blog post comes to help you out.
Here is a list of birds that start with the letter U. This post will be a great resource for anyone who needs a list of birds to help them on a project or school assignment.
Ural Owl (Strix uralensis)
Named after the Russian Ural Mountains, the Ural Owls are a true owl species with a widespread distribution throughout Europe and Asia. These owls are nocturnal, much like the other members of Strigidae family, and have over fifteen recognized subspecies.
Ural Owls are broad-headed with a prominent facial disc and a remarkably long, wedge-tipped tail. While their coloration might vary, the nominate species harbors a greyish head and upper body, with white underparts. Their entire body, except the facial disc, is heavily streaked.
While both sexes of the adults sport an identical plumage, in terms of size, they display reverse dimorphism, with the females being larger than their male counterparts.
Rodents like voles and rats are the main diet of these owls, but you can also find them feeding on small mammals on some occasions.
Upland Goose (Chloephaga picta)
Also referred to as the “Magellan Goose,” the Upland Geese are members of the shelduck-sheldgoose family. These waterfowls are endemic to South America and have two recognized subspecies.
Upland Geese primarily inhabit grasslands, pastures, lowland scrubs, and agricultural lands. The adults display a strong sexual dimorphism in their plumage.
Male Upland Geese have a white head, neck, and breast, with heavy streaking on their upper parts, and a black tail. On the other hand, their female counterparts are dark-bodied, having a dark brown head and upper parts, with black wings and tails.
Although both sexes have dark irises and bill, their legs and feet are different; the males have dark legs and feet, while the legs and feet of their female counterparts are orangish.
Upland Geese are primarily herbivores, feeding mainly on seeds, leaves, stems, and other soft parts of plants. They’re gregarious foragers, often gathering in flocks of hundreds to feed.
Ultramarine Flycatcher (Ficedula superciliaris)
Also known as the “White-browed Blue Flycatcher,” the Ultramarine Flycatchers are members of the Old World Flycatcher family found in the Indian subcontinent. These birds have three recognized subspecies, all of which display minor differences in appearance.
In size, Ultramarine Flycatchers are quite similar to a sparrow. They’re sexually dimorphic, but little is known about the appearance of the females.
The male Ultramarine Flycatchers have a deep blue head, back, wings, and tail, with blue extending to their sides. Their underbody is mainly white in contrast, with two characteristic white lines extending above their eyes, giving them an eyebrow-like look.
The irises, legs, feet, and short, pointed bill of these flycatchers are all dark. It is assumed that their female counterparts possess a similar but duller plumage.
Unicolored Blackbird (Agelasticus cyanopus)
The Unicolored Blackbirds are a widespread blackbird species throughout South America. These birds belong to the icterid family and tend to inhabit grasslands and swamps. They’re a resident species, living on their breeding grounds all year long.
The adult Unicolored Blackbirds are sexually dimorphic in plumage. The males have an overall glossy black body, including their eyes, bill, legs, and feet.
Their female counterparts are not colored so boldly; they have streaking of brown and black throughout their undersides, with rufous touches on their back.
Although Unicolored Blackbirds are omnivores, they enjoy feeding on fruits like grapes, pears, apples, and cherries. They also hunt for insects like earthworms, spiders, and other insects on the ground.
Unspotted Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius ridgwayi)
Closely related to the Northern Saw-whet Owls, the Unspotted Saw-whet Owls are an American owl species that inhabit the highlands of Central America. These birds are non-migratory and prefer to reside in the open mountain forests all year long.
Unspotted Saw-whet Owls have a short but dumpy body with broad wings and a short tail. Their head seems rather large in comparison to the rest of their body.
The adults have a dark brown head and upper body, with heavy white markings on their wings. Their undersides are paler and unmarked.
Because these raptors follow a strictly nocturnal schedule, little is known about dimorphism between the sexes, as well as about their population status. However, the IUCN has given them a Least Concern status, which means there’s no immediate threat to their population.
Undulated Antpitta (Grallaria squamigera)
The Undulated Antpittas are a South American antpitta species that inhabit and montane forests within their range. These birds, like all antpittas, are primarily forest-dwellers and are, therefore, rarely seen around human settlements.
Undulated Antpittas have tiny bodies with relatively long and strong legs that help them walk longer. Their head and upper parts are dark brown, with a grey crown and neck, while the underparts range between orangish and buff and are covered in heavy barring.
These birds lack a tail, and both sexes are sexually monomorphic, having an identical plumage and size.
Ultramarine Lorikeet (Vini ultramarina)
The Ultramarine Lorikeets are a parrot species found on the Marquesas Islands. Just like the other members of their genus, they’re also restricted to some of the tropical islands on the Pacific Ocean.
The IUCN has declared the Ultramarine Lorikeets to be a Critically Endangered species, with predation by the black rats being a major threat to their declining population.
Ultramarine Lorikeets have a mainly green plumage, with a black crown atop their head and white underparts. You can spot a bold black band on their chest, while their neck is covered with heavy white spots. Their irises are red, and the hooked bill is dark in color.
Both sexes of the Ultramarine Lorikeets appear the same externally, showing no differences in plumage or size.
Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius)
Being the largest species within the Buteo genus, the Upland Buzzards are an Asian raptor species that might not be spotted commonly but have a large habitat range.
Due to their secretive nature, many birders think their population status is threatened. However, the IUCN has confirmed that their population falls under the Least Concern species list.
Upland Buzzards are migratory but travel only a short distance to avoid food shortages due to snow cover.
These birds of prey are roughly similar to the Ferruginous Hawks in total size and wingspan. Their broad frame makes these buzzards look more like an eagle than other buzzards.
Upland Buzzards occur in two color morphs: dark and light. The light morph has a beige plumage with a whitish chest and earthen brown wings. On the other hand, the dark morph is blackish-brown in color, with heavy markings on the wings and tail.
Unicolored Tapaculo (Scytalopus unicolor)
Belonging to the Tapaculo family of South America, the Unicolored Tapaculos are South American passerine birds that are native to the country of Peru. These birds are monotypic members of their genus.
Earlier, it was believed that the Blackish and Trilling Tapaculos were subspecies to these birds. However, the two are now considered individual species.
Unicolored Tapaculos are tiny birds not growing longer than 4 inches. The adults display sexual dimorphism in their plumage, with both sexes having a greyish body with a dark brown touch to their rump. This shade is darker in females than in their male counterparts.
Unicolored Tapaculos are primarily ground-foragers with an omnivorous diet, feeding seeds, insects, and other soft plant materials.
Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)
Colloquially known as the “Papabotte,” the Upland Sandpipers are a large American sandpiper species with diverse habitats, including coastal areas, tall grasses, blueberry farms, and open country landscapes.
They’re also called “Bartram Sandpiper” in honor of William Bartram, the American naturalist. They have mainly white plumage, with faint brown touches on their head, brown streaking on their breast and back.
Their legs and feet are yellow, with the upper bill being grey and the lower one also being yellow. These birds also have white eye-rings that can only be noticed upon closer examination. The tail of these sandpipers is quite long in comparison to other sandpiper species.
Upland Sandpipers are insectivores, mainly feeding moths, ants, flies, centipedes, snails, spiders, and grasshoppers. However, occasionally, they will also eat seeds and grains.
Upcher’s Warbler (Hippolais languida)
The Upcher’s Warblers were first described by an English ornithologist, Henry Baker Tristam, who named the species after his close friend, Henry Morris Upcher. They’re known to inhabit arid and semi-arid areas, nesting in tamarisk thickets and bushy scrubs.
These birds belong to the genus of tree warblers and are included in the Old World Warbler family. They closely resemble the Icterine Warblers in size but have a longer bill and tail and slightly shorter wings.
The adults have a dull, greyish olive plumage with a slight crest-like tuft atop their heads and buffy underparts. Both sexes appear almost alike; only the females are slightly duller.
Uniform Swiftlet (Aerodramus vanikorensis)
Also referred to as “Lowland Swiftlet” and “Vanikoro,” the Uniform Swiftlets are aerial birds that are found in the Southern Hemisphere. These swiftlets are commonly spotted across South Asia and are primarily cave nesters.
As their name suggests, Uniform Swiftlets are colored in a uniform, dark grey shade, with a slightly paler underbody. Their chin and throat are also significantly pale. The adults lack any external sexual dimorphism.
Uniform Swiftlets are exclusive insectivores, with over 95% of their diet consisting of flying insects.
Urich’s Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias urichi)
Named after the famous zoologist Frederick William Urich, the Urich’s Tyrannulets are a tyrant flycatcher species found in South America. These birdies are native to Venezuela and are an Endangered species, with habitat loss being a major threat to their population.
The natural habitat of Urich’s Tyrannulets includes moist montane forests. These birds are very rarely spotted by humans and have a muted, olive-yellow body, with a touch of grey on their heads and dark wing edges.
They have dark irises, feet, legs, and a pointed, silver bill. Both sexes of these tyrannulets are identical in appearance.
Urrao Antpitta (Grallaria urraoensis)
Also referred to as “Fenwick’s Antpitta,” the Urrao Antpittas are a South American antpitta species with a Critically Endangered status.
These birds closely resemble the Brown-banded Antpittas and have a rufous head and back, with their breast being slate-grey in color. They have a short, pointed bill, long, grey legs, and black eyes.
Like the other antpitta species, these birds also lack sexual dimorphism, with both sexes having an identical plumage.
Undulated Tinamou (Crypturellus undulatus)
Undulated Tinamous are a South American tinamou species with over six recognized subspecies. These ground-dwelling birds are known to inhabit a variety of wooded habitats, including dry, humid, and dense woodlands.
The head and upper body of Undulated Tinamous are greyish in shade, with black barring on their neck and back. The intensity of barring varies among the subspecies, with some subspecies having strong barring and others sporting a faint one.
Their throat is whitish, with buffy undersides, dark flanks, and vent. The color of their legs and feet varies between greyish to greenish, while their bill is black from above and grey from below.
Uniform Woodcreeper (Hylexetastes uniformis)
The Uniform Woodcreepers are a vulnerable woodcreeper species that inhabit the humid forests of South America. Their population has witnessed a steep decline in the last decade due to habitat loss caused by large-scale felling of trees.
Uniform Woodcreepers were initially considered a subspecies of the Red-bellied Woodcreepers but have now been declared to be a separate species. These woodpeckers have a uniform, olive-green body, as their name suggests.
The adults have a muted, olive-green head, neck, and underbody, with their wings and tail colored in rufous-brown. They have a pointed, orange bill, grey legs and feet, and dark eyes with thin white eye-rings.
Ursula’s Sunbird (Cinnyris ursulae)
Belonging to the family of spiderhunters and sunbirds, Ursula’s Sunbirds are an African sunbird species that are found on the islands of Cameroon and Bioko. These birds primarily inhabit the mountain forests within their range.
Although the IUCN has declared their population to be Least Concern, they are becoming increasingly rare due to habitat loss. Their main diet consists of nectar, although they can feed on insects as well.
Ursula’s Sunbirds have a dark grey face, a slightly pale underbody, and a faint, greenish touch to their vent. Their neck and wings are heavily shaded in olive-green, while the eyes are black, with red eye-rings. These birds also possess dark legs and a bill that curves downwards.
Usambara Eagle-owl (Bubo vosseleri)
Also referred to as the “Vosseier’s Eagle-owl,” the Usambara Eagle-owls are a large true owl species endemic to Africa. They’re found in abundance in the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, after which they’ve been named.
Although Usambara Eagle-owls initially started as an individual species, they’re now placed as a subspecies of the Fraser’s Eagle-owls. They’re among the larger members of the owl family, with a tawny brown head and upper body covered in heavy bars.
Their facial disc is pale tawny in color, with buff undersides covered in brown blotches and black bars. Their legs and feet are whitish, with dull yellowish irises and a bluish-white bill.
Ussher’s Flycatcher (Muscicapa ussheri)
The Ussher’s Flycatchers are an Old World Flycatcher species that are endemic to West Africa. These flycatchers primarily inhabit dry and moist lowland forests and are common in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ivory Coast.
The population of Ussher’s Flycatchers was threatened up to 2012. However, in 2013, the IUCN moved them under the Least Concern Species list.
Ussher’s Flycatchers have grey plumage, with their head and underbody being a paler shade of grey than their blackish wings and tail. Their eyes are also dark, with a short but pointed, grey-colored bill.
Upland Pipit (Anthus sylvanus)
The Upland Pipits are a large pipit species found across Asia. These birds have an expansive, cosmopolitan range, much like the other pipits. However, due to their sparse distribution, they’re not spotted by birders commonly.
Upland Pipits heavily populate China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. They’re migratory in nature; they inhabit foothills and mountains during winters but fly down to lower elevation areas during winters.
Upland Pipits have a pale brown body covered in dark streaks all over, with a greyish touch on their underbelly. They have black irises, pale legs and feet, and a grey bill with a yellowish lower mandible.
Usambara Thrush (Turdus roehli)
Also referred to as “Roehl’s Thrush,” the Usambara Thrushes are a true thrush species endemic to the mountains of Pare and Usambara in Tanzania, East Africa. Their species was initially considered a subspecies to the Olive Thrushes but were later regarded as a separate species.
The population of Usambara Thrushes is considered Near-threatened by the IUCN, with habitat degradation affecting their status negatively.
These thrushes have a dark brown head and upper body, with pale orangish touches to their belly and vent. Their dark eyes have orangish eye-rings, an orange bill, and orange legs and feet.
Uniform Treehunter (Thripadectes ignobilis)
The Uniform Treehunters are South American birds that belong to the ovenbird family. These treehunters inhabit the subtropical regions within South America, particularly the western parts of the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia.
Uniform Treehunters have a relatively plain and unmarked body covered in a dark brown shade, with rufous touches to their wings and tail. They have a pointy-edged bill with dark eyes and brown eye-rings.
Conclusion: Birds That Start With U
We’ve come to the end of our article on birds that start with U. Thank you so much for reading. Hopefully, you found this article enlightening. And who knows, maybe I helped solve the mystery of why birds start with the letter U?
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends! I love to connect with people so don’t hesitate to reach out via one of the links below if you have questions or just want to shoot the breeze.
Thanks again for reading about all the birds, but now it’s time to go. Phew, that was exhausting!