Below is a compilation of bird species from various regions around the world, sharing one thing in common – their names all start with the letter U. Included in this list are the upland sandpipers, unicolored blackbirds, Udzungwa partridges, ultramarine flycatchers, and many others.
Let’s take a closer look at these magnificent birds!
BIRDS THAT START WITH THE LETTER U
1. UPLAND SANDPIPER
Scientific name: Bartramia longicauda
Upland sandpipers can be found in Canada, the United States, northern Argentina, and Paraguay. These birds often perch on fence posts and small plants. They have small heads, long necks, large eyes, and a yellow beak with a black tip. In flight, they have a distinct appearance due to their long tails and fluttering wings. Juvenile sandpipers are called “peeps.”
2. UDZUNGWA PARTRIDGE
Scientific name: Xenoperdix udzungwensis
The Udzungwa partridge is a rare bird species that can be found in the woodlands of Tanzania’s central highlands. It is characterized by a black scallop on its bill and a brown barred back, with gray underparts.
The bird was first discovered in 1991 and is found in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Tanzania. They are usually found in steep areas with bamboo.
3. ULTRAMARINE GROSBEAK
Scientific name: Cyanoloxia brissonii
Lives in: southeastern South America
The ultramarine grosbeak is a striking bird with dark blue plumage found in South America. The male of the species has a dark patch surrounding its eyes and lighter shoulders and eyebrows. Its entire body is a deep shade of cobalt blue. The female, on the other hand, has a rich reddish-brown coloration.
These birds are usually found in pairs in woodlands with scrubby vegetation near water sources. They tend to hide in thickets while foraging. The blue color of their plumage is so intense that it has inspired the use of the term “ultramarine.”
4. UNICOLORED JAY
Scientific name: Aphelocoma unicolor
The unicolored jay is a bird species commonly found in Central America and Southeastern Mexico, dwelling in highland evergreen and pine-evergreen woods.These jays usually travel in groups and are known to form mixed-species feeding flocks with other birds such as woodcreepers and orioles.
Interestingly, the scientific name for this bird, Aphelocoma, is derived from Ancient Greek and means “soft hair” in Latin.
5. UNIFORM TREEHUNTER
Scientific name: Thripadectes ignobilis
The uniform treehunter is a bird species that inhabits the lower subtropical zone of the western Andes in Colombia and Ecuador. It has a plain dark brown color with streaks on its neck and a small eyebrow. These birds usually move in mixed-species flocks in the understory and are hard to spot due to their camouflage. They can be found both as solitary individuals and in pairs.
6. URAL OWL
Scientific name: Strix Uralensis
The Ural owl got its name from the Ural Mountains in Russia. These owls can be found in Russia, Scandinavia, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe, and there are at least 15 subspecies recognized. The Ural owl has a large facial disc and a long, wedge-tipped tail.
Despite variations in color, the most common species of Ural owls have grayish upper and lower bodies with white underparts. Females are generally larger than males, which is a form of reverse dimorphism.
7. UPLAND GOOSE
Scientific name: Chloephaga Picta
The Magellan Goose, also known as the Upland Goose, can be commonly found in grasslands, highland scrub, pastures, and agricultural land throughout South America.
There is a significant difference between the plumage of adult males and females, exhibiting substantial sexual dimorphism. Both males and females have black bills and irises, but their feet and legs differ in color. These geese often gather in large groups, with hundreds of them seen feeding together.
8. ULTRAMARINE FLYCATCHER
Scientific name: Ficedula Superciliaris
Ultramarine Flycatchers are a species of bird belonging to the Old World Flycatcher family and are about the same size as sparrows. The male Ultramarine Flycatchers are easily recognizable due to their brilliant blue head, back, wings, and tail, which have blue streaks along the sides. They also have two white eyebrow-like lines. The physical appearance of females, however, is not well-known.
9. UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD
Scientific name: Agelasticus Cyanopus
Unicolored Blackbirds are members of the icterid family and can be found in wetlands and grasslands of South America. They are a year-round resident species and can be found throughout their breeding range.
As omnivores, Unicolored Blackbirds feed on insects, earthworms, and fruits. They are often seen foraging in the water, consuming floating plants and reeds.
10. UNSPOTTED SAW-WHET OWL
Scientific name: Aegolius ridgwayi.
Unspotted Saw-whet Owls are non-migratory and can be found in a limited range of open mountains. They are typically found in a small region of Central America and southern Mexico. These owls have a small and round body with large wings and a short tail. The adults have white wing markings and are dark brown on their heads and upper body.
A group of owls is sometimes called a “parliament,” which is an interesting fact.
11. ULTRAMARINE LORIKEET
Scientific name: Vini Ultramarina
Ultramarine Lorikeets are a type of parrot species that are only found in a few individuals on the tropical Marquesas Islands. They have green feathers with a black crown and white underparts, except for their heads. The Marquesas Islanders call them “Pihiti” or “Pihitikua” because of their distinct vocalizations.
12. UPLAND BUZZARD
Scientific name: Buteo Hemilasius
The Upland Buzzard is considered as the largest species in the Buteo genus and is believed to be an Asian Raptor species due to its size. Many bird enthusiasts express concern about the isolation of these birds and fear that their species is in danger.
These buzzards do migrate, but only a short distance to prevent food stocks from being depleted due to snow. Despite having a vast habitat range, they are rarely sighted, and their population is considered to be a species of Least Concern according to the IUCN. They appear to be masters of concealment!
13. UNICOLORED TAPACULO
Scientific name: Scytalopus Unicolor
Unicolored Tapaculos are a species of South American passerine birds that are native to Peru and belong to the Tapaculo family. At one point in time, it was believed that the Blackish and Trilling Tapaculos were subspecies of this bird, but they are now recognized as separate species. Tapaculos are small birds that are less than 4 inches in length.
14. UPCHER’S WARBLER
Scientific name: Hippolais Languida
During spring birding, Upcher’s Warblers were observed in significant numbers, with an average of five birds per day. These birds are commonly found in scrub and bushes around spray fields. Upcher’s Warbler has a large, full tail that darkens towards the outer margins, which is fanned and moves in a sluggish swinging gesture that is frequently sideways and downwards. The species was named after Henry Morris Upcher, who was one of Henry Baker Tristam’s closest friends.
15. URICH’S TYRANNULET
Scientific name: Phyllomyias Urichi
The Urich’s Tyrannulet is a species of tyrant flycatchers, which includes at least 438 species. These birds are small, with olive-green or brown-gray feathers on their upperparts, and lighter shades of yellow or beige on their underparts. They feed on dragonflies, bees, and larger insects.
Tyrant flycatchers are called such because of their aggressive nature and the ability to drive away much larger birds if they come too close to their nests. The Urich’s Tyrannulet is only found in a small population in northern Venezuela and is currently endangered.