Top 28 Backyard Birds in Utah (Free Picture ID Printable)

western meadowlark

Have you wondered what those birds are that are visiting your backyard in Utah? Do you need help identifying common backyard birds in Utah?

There is a great joy in putting up bird feeders and watching what comes to visit but it gets better if you know who they are. Well, now you can find out what are the most common birds in Utah that visit feeders or hop across your lawn.

So if you’re ready to do some backyard birding in Utah then read on to find out how to identify birds and how to attract more birds to your yard.

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Also, get free printable backyard bird worksheets with pictures for Utah to help you identify and keep track of the birds that visit your backyard.

Top 28 backyard birds in Utah

  1. American Robin
  2. Mourning Dove
  3. House Finch
  4. Barn Swallow
  5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  6. Dark-eyed Junco
  7. European Starling
  8. Black-billed Magpie
  9. Northern Flicker
  10. Black-capped Chickadee
  11. Yellow Warbler
  12. House Sparrow
  13. Western Kingbird
  14. Song Sparrow
  15. Red-winged Blackbird
  16. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  17. White-crowned Sparrow
  18. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  19. Chipping Sparrow
  20. Brown-headed Cowbird
  21. American Goldfinch
  22. Western Meadowlark
  23. Western Tanager
  24. Lesser Goldfinch
  25. Spotted Towhee
  26. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  27. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  28. Downy Woodpecker

These are the backyard birds most often seen in Utah that may visit your lawn or feeders.  They are the birds that appear most frequently on state checklists on ebird and the data is a combination of birds most frequently spotted in Utah in summer (June and July) and winter (December and January). 

Birds that are not often seen at feeders or in backyards were removed to give you the birds in Utah you are most likely to see from home.

This data mix ensures that whatever time of year you are bird-watching in Utah these are the birds you will most likely spot at feeders or on your lawn.

Birds in Utah

The California Gull is the state bird of Utah.  This bird saved the state from crickets in 1848-9, so although being known as just a ‘seagull’ it massively helped the state and is now its state bird.  It is recorded in 14% of checklists on ebird for the state.

There are 468 species of bird recorded in Utah according to ebird.  Due to its central location, Utah is a great spot to get a range of different birds including those on migration. Many of these are birds you can spot in your yard but some notable ones that you may spot if you go birding are Turkey Vultures, White-faced Ibis, Greater Sage-Grouse, and Golden Eagles.

The biggest bird in Utah is the California Condor, although it is not often spotted these birds are native to the western part of North America. Condors are part of the vulture family and with a wingspan of 9 1/2 feet, they are the largest land bird in North America.

The smallest bird in Utah is the Calliope Hummingbird which is only about 3 in long, but they can travel long distances from Canada all the way to southern Mexico.

The most common bird in Utah is the American Robin, which is seen in 36% of recorded checklists for the state on ebird.

Utah has 5 national parks, 6 national forests, and 43 state parks that offer excellent bird watching opportunities and includes arid deserts and sub-alpine forests.  Ouray National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Utah contains wetlands, semi-desert, and shrubland all in only a 9-mile drive so you can experience all Utah has to offer in a day!

Read to the end of this article to find out more about the top birding locations in Utah and how to identify birds.

Common Birds at Different Times of Year in Utah

The birds that are attracted to backyards in Utah change throughout the year.  The lists below show the backyard birds that are most commonly seen at different times of the year in Utah according to ebird.org

Notable differences show that Yellow Warblers, Western Kingbirds and Black-chinned Hummingbirds are more common in summer and Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-billed Magpies, and Northern Flickers are more common in winter.

Common birds in Utah all year

American Robin 36%
House Finch 31%
European Starling 30%
Black-billed Magpie 28%
Dark-eyed Junco 25%
House Sparrow 22%
Mourning Dove 21%
Black-capped Chickadee 21%
Red-winged Blackbird 21%
Northern Flicker 21%

Summer birds Utah

American Robin 50%
Mourning Dove 34%
House Finch 27%
Barn Swallow 25%
Yellow Warbler 24%
Western Kingbird 23%
Black-chinned Hummingbird 21%
European Starling 20%
Song Sparrow 20%
House Sparrow 19%

Winter birds Utah

Dark-eyed Junco 45.79%
European Starling 36.39%
House Finch 34.74%
Black-billed Magpie 34.66%
Northern Flicker 28.00%
American Robin 27.85%
Black-capped Chickadee 26.25%
House Sparrow 26.23%
Eurasian Collared-Dove 22.14%
Song Sparrow 21.26%

Free Printable Backyard Birds Worksheets for Utah

These free bird identification worksheets have all the common backyard birds in Utah at different times of the year. So when you want to do some backyard birding these handy guides have pictures and space to either tick off the types of birds you have seen or keep a tally of the total number of birds.

Backyard Birds Identification Worksheet Utah Page 1
Backyard Birds Identification Worksheet Utah Page 2
Backyard Birds Identification Worksheet Utah Page 3

Top 28 backyard birds in Utah

1. American Robin

American Robin for identification

American Robins are a common sight on lawns eating earthworms.  They have black heads and back with red or orange breasts.  They tend to roost in trees in winter so you are more likely to see them in your backyard from spring.

American Robins can be found in many habitats, from woodlands, forests, and mountains to fields, parks, and lawns. They eat earthworms, insects, snails, and fruit.

You can attract more American Robins to your yard with sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms.  Platform feeders are best or food scattered on the ground. Also try planting some native plants that produce berries such as juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood.

2. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves are graceful small-headed birds, plump bodies and long tails.  They are a soft brown with black spots on the wings.

They can be seen perching on telephone wires and forage for seeds on the ground in grasslands, fields, and backyards. Mourning Doves can be found in open areas or on the edge of woodland.

Mourning Doves are common over all of the lower 48 all year but may migrate after breeding from the far north.

You can attract more Mourning Doves to your backyard by scattering millet on the ground or on platform feeders.  They will also eat black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.

3. House Finch

house finch male

House Finches have a red head and breast in the males and brown-streaked coloring in the females.  Originally only in western states it was introduced to the eastern states and has done very well, even pushing out the Purple Finch.

They can be found in parks, farms, forest edges, and backyard feeders. They can be found in noisy groups that are hard to miss. They feed on seeds, buds, and fruit including thistle, cactus, cherries, apricots, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and figs.

You can attract more House Finches to backyard feeders with black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders.

There are a surprising number of red birds in Utah that you can spot.

4. Barn Swallow

barn swallow

Barn Swallows are small birds with a deep-blue back, wings and tail, and reddish-brown underneath and across the face. The tail has long outer feathers that give a deep fork.

They breed over most of North America before heading to Central and South America. They can be found flying over meadows, farms, and fields looking for insects and usually build mud nests on man-made structures such as in barns.

You can attract more Barn Swallows by putting up nest boxes or cups and they may eat ground-up eggshells on a platform feeder.

5. Black-chinned Hummingbird

black chinned hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are dull metallic green on the back and grayish-white underneath.  The males have a black throat with a thin iridescent base and the females have a pale throat.

They breed in eastern states and migrate to western Mexico the Gulf Coast in the winter. Nests of Black-chinned Hummingbirds are made of plant down and spider silk to hold them together and they lay 2 white tiny eggs that are only 0.6 in (1.3 cm)

Black-chinned Hummingbirds can often be seen sitting at the top of dead trees on tiny bare branches and often return to a favorite perch. They can be found along canyons and rivers in the Southwest or by shady oaks in the Gulf Coast. They eat nectar, small insects, and spiders and their tongues can lick 13-17 times per second when feeding on nectar.

You can attract more Black-chinned Hummingbirds to your yard with nectar made with sugar and water in hummingbird feeders and native trumpet flowers in red and orange.

6. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark eyed junco for identification

Dark-eyed Juncos are sparrows that are different colors depending on the state.  They are generally slate-colored in the east and black, white, and brown in the west.

They can be found in open and partially wooded areas often on the ground and are common across the continent. Some remain resident all year in the west and in the Appalachian Mountains.  Those that breed in Canada and Alaska migrate south in winter to much of the United States.

You can attract more Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders with a variety of seeds such as black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts.  Platform feeders or scattered on the ground are best.

7. European Starling

European Starling for identification

European Starlings are not native but are now one of the most numerous songbirds.  They are stocky black birds with iridescent purple, green, and blue tones. 

Considered a pest by some due to their aggressive behavior these birds fly in large noisy flocks and can be seen perched in groups on the top of trees or flying over fields in flocks.

Starlings eat predominantly insects including beetles, flies and caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders.  They also eat fruit including cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, and blackberries, as well as grains and seeds.

You can attract more European Starlings to your backyard feeders with black oil sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, and peanuts.

8. Black-billed Magpie

black-billed-magpie

Black-billed Magpies are black and white birds noisy birds, that are larger than Jays, with long tails and blue-green iridescent flashes in the wing and tail.

They do not tend to migrate and can be found in meadow and grasslands or other open areas feeding on fruit and grain, beetles, and grasshoppers.  They have also been known to kill small mammals such as squirrels and voles and raid bird nests for eggs or nestlings and even carrion.

Black-billed Magpies will visit backyards for platform and suet feeders with black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, fruit, suet, millet, and milo

9. Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

Northern Flickers are large woodpeckers, between the size of a robin and a crow, with brownish coloring and black spots, bars, and crescents and red on the nape.  The undersides of tail and wing feathers are bright yellow in eastern birds and red in western birds.

They can be found on the ground looking for ants and beetles in woods or forest edges. Those that breed in Canada or Alaska migrate to southern states but otherwise, they can be found all year over the lower 48.

You can attract more Northern Flickers to your backyard feeders with suet and black oil sunflower seeds.

Check out all the woodpeckers in Utah that you can spot.

10. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

The Black-capped Chickadee is a cute bird with a big round head and tiny body. These birds will happily feed at backyard feeders and will investigate everything including you! 

Black-capped Chickadees have black-caps and beaks, white cheeks, and are gray on the back, wings, and tail. They can be found in forests, open woods, parks. Black-capped Chickadees eat seeds, berries and insects, spiders, and suet.

To attract more Black-capped Chickadees to your backyard try suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts or peanut butter. They will even feed from your hand and are often one of the first birds to discover new feeders. They will also use nest boxes, especially if you fill them with wood shavings.

11. Yellow Warbler

yellow warbler

Yellow Warblers are small bright yellow birds with a yellow-green back, and the males have chestnut streaks on the breast, which are a common sight in summer.

They migrate a long-distance and breed over much of North America before heading into Central and northern South America for winter. They can be seen during migration in the far south.

Yellow Warblers can be found along streams and wetlands in thickets and along the edges of fields foraging for insects, including caterpillars, midges, beetles, bugs, and wasps.

Warblers are hard to attract to your backyard as they are shy and eat mainly insects.  To attract Yellow Warblers you can try suet, oranges, and peanut butter and plant berries and native plants that attract insects, so no pesticides or being too tidy!  Birdbaths with fountains with secluded thickets nearby to provide protection.

12. House Sparrow

House sparrow for identification

The House Sparrow is another introduced species that has done very well and is now one of the most common birds. They are found near houses and buildings and can be quite tame so will eat out of your hand.

House Sparrows can be found in most busy areas, especially around cities, towns, farms, or anywhere there are people. They eat mostly grain and seed as well as discarded food. They can be considered a pest as they are non-native but will be found in backyards even if you do not feed them.

You can attract more House Sparrows to your backyard feeders with most kinds of birdseed, including millet, corn, and sunflower seeds.

13. Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbirds are large flycatchers with yellow bellies, whitish chests, gray heads, grayish-brown wings, and a darker tail.

They breed over all of western North America and are a familiar sight in summer before migrating to Mexico and Central America, some may overwinter in the south of Florida.

They live in open habitats and are often found perched on fences and utility lines waiting for insects to fly by before catching them in mid-flight. They can often be found near the edge of woodlands so they can nest in the trees and forage in the open. They also nest in human-made structures.

You can attract more Western Kingbirds to your yard by making it insect-friendly and planting elderberry or hawthorn, which they will also eat the fruit from.

14. Song Sparrow

Song sparrow for identification

Song sparrows are not as remarkable looking as other backyard birds but these predominantly brown-streaked birds use their almost constant song to attract mates in spring and summer.

They can be found in open, shrubby, and wet areas often perched on a low shrub singing. They are often found at backyard feeders. Resident in eastern and western states but migrate in for winter to central and southern states.

Song Sparrows eat a wide variety of insects and plants including beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms. They will also eat buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat, and rice.

You can attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders by putting black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders

15. Red-winged Blackbird

Red winged blackbird for identification

Red-winged blackbirds are very common and easy to identify with the all-black coloring except for the bright red and yellow shoulder patches.  The females are rather dull in comparison with brown streaky coloring.

They can often be spotted sitting on telephone wires and the males will fiercely defend their territories in the breeding season even attacking people that get too close to nests. In winter they roost in large numbers into the millions. Red-winged Blackbirds are resident over most of the U.S but they may migrate after breeding from the far north.

To attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your backyard try mixed grain and seeds spread on the ground.  They will also feed on large tube feeders or platform feeders.

16. Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian collared dove

Eurasian Collared-Doves are an introduced species that only arrived in the 1980s but are now across most of the country. They are light brownish-gray, with white patches in the tail, and look very similar to Mourning Doves, but with a black half collar at the nape of the neck, they are also larger, and with a square tail rather than pointed.

Preferring areas near people where seeds are plentiful, such as backyard feeders and farms, they are not found in heavy forests. Eurasian Collared’Doves predominantly eat a wide variety of seeds and grain but also will eat some berries and insects.

You can attract more Eurasian-Collared-Doves to your backyard with millet, oats, cracked corn, and Black oil sunflower seeds or hulled sunflower seeds on ground feeders, but they may also visit platform or hopper feeders.

17. White-crowned Sparrow

white-crowned sparrow

White-crowned Sparrows are large grayish sparrows with long tails and small bills and bold black and white stripes on their heads.

They breed in Alaska and arctic Canada before heading south other much of the lower 48 and Mexico for winter. Some may remain all year over a small area along the Pacific Coast and west.

White-crowned Sparrows can be found in weedy fields, along roadsides, forest edges,  and in yards foraging for seeds of weeds and grasses or fruit such as elderberries and blackberries.

You can attract more White-crowned Sparrows to your backyard with sunflower seeds and many types of seeds that are dropped by other birds at the feeders.

18. Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird male (Selasphorus platycercus)

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds live in higher elevations and are iridescent green on the back, brownish in the wings and white on the chest and into the belly.  Males have an iridescent rose throat, females and juveniles have green spots on their throats and cheeks.

 Broad-tailed Hummingbirds breed in high meadows and open woodlands between 5,000 – 10,000 feet elevation in the mountain west, between late May and August, before migrating to southern Mexico for the winter.

Due to the cold at higher elevations, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird can slow their heart rate and drop their body temperature to enter a state of torpor.

Nectar from flowers is the usual food of hummingbirds and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds drink from larkspur, red columbine, sage, scarlet gilia and they will come to hummingbird feeders.  They supplement their diet with small insects and will feed their young on insects too.

To attract more Broad-tailed Hummingbirds to your backyard put sugar water in a hummingbird feeder and add tubular plants to your yard.

19. Chipping Sparrow

chipping sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are slender, long-tailed birds that have a grayish belly and brown and black-streaked back, with a rusty crown and black eye line. In winter the colors are more subdued.

Breeding over much of North America and Canada then flying to Mexico and Florida for winter. In the far south, they may remain all year. They can be found in small flocks in open ground foraging for seeds and insects in grassy forests, woodlands, parks, and backyards.

You can attract more Chipping sparrows to your yard for many kinds of birdseed, including hulled sunflower seeds, nyjer seeds, cracked corn, millet, and milo from ground feeders, platform feeders, or hoppers.

20. Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird males are black-bodied and brown-headed Blackbirds with short tails and thick heads.  Females are brown all over with slight streaking. 

They can be found in grassland and woodland edges, fields, and backyards and feed mostly on seeds from grasses and weeds. They also eat grasshoppers and beetles and the females will eat snail shells and eggshells to sustain the prolific egg-laying of more than 35 eggs in a season.

They are often considered a nuisance as they destroy the eggs of smaller songbirds so that they can lay their eggs in the nest and have the bird foster their chicks.

They breed in much of the north and west of North America before heading further south but remain all year in the Eastern and Southern states and Pacific Coast.

21. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch for identification

American Goldfinches are popular birds with the males bright yellow and black coloring in spring.  The females are more dull brown as are males in winter.

American Goldfinches breed in far northern states and Canada before migrating to southern states, they remain all year in the rest of the U.S. They can be found in weedy fields and overgrown areas foraging for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants. They are also common in suburbs, parks, and backyards.

To attract more American Goldfinches to your backyard try planting thistles and milkweed.  They will visit most bird feeders and prefer sunflower seed and nyjer seed.

22. Western Meadowlark

western meadowlark

Western Meadowlarks with their bright yellow bellies and melodious song can brighten up your day.  This is probably what makes them so popular, so popular in fact that they are the state bird of 6 states.

Western Meadowlarks are related to blackbirds and are about the size of a Robin with shades of brown and white upperparts and with a black V-shaped band across the bright yellow chest that turns gray in winter.

Breeding in northern U.S and Canada before moving to more southern states.  Those in the west and midwest remain all year. Western Meadowlarks can be found foraging for insects and seeds from weeds and seeds, on the ground alone or in small flocks in grasslands, meadows, and fields. 

To attract more Western Meadowlarks to your yard try hulled sunflower seeds and cracked corn on ground feeders.

23. Western Tanager

western tanager

Western Tanagers are striking birds with flaming orange-red heads, yellow bodies, and black wings. Females are duller yellow and more olive than black on the wings and without the red in the crown and face.

They breed in western states before migrating south to Central America for winter. They may be seen during migration further inland and across the far south.

Western Tanagers live in open conifer forests but stay hidden in the canopy, despite their bright coloring. The red coloring probably comes from eating insects that produce a pigment that the Western Tanagers cannot produce themselves.

You can attract Western Tanagers to your yard with dried fruit, cut oranges, and other fruits from platform feeders. They may also be attracted by water from a birdbath, especially with moving water such as by using a birdbath fountain.

24. Lesser Goldfinch

lessor goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinches are tiny bright yellow and black songbirds with long pointed wings and short notched tails. Females have olive backs and are more dull yellow underneath.

Residents in the far southwest, with those to the north of their range breeding then migrating further south.

Lesser Goldfinches can be found in large flocks in open habitats including thickets, weedy fields, forest clearings parks, and gardens. They forage for seeds, especially sunflower seeds, but also fruits from elderberry, coffeeberry, and buds from cottonwoods, willows, sycamores, and alders.

You can attract more Lesser Goldfinches to your yard with sunflower seeds and nyjer in tube feeders or platform feeders.

25. Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhees are large sparrows that are black on the head, throat, and back in the males and brown in the females.  Both males and females have reddish-brown sides and white bellies and white spots on the wings and back.  They have long tails and are about the size of a Robin.

Spotted Towhees can be found on the ground in dense tangles of shrubs scratching around for insects including beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees. They also eat acorns, berries, and seeds.

A resident of the Pacific Coast but migrate from northern central states after breeding and appear in winter in a swath from north to south across all central states.

You can attract more Spotted Towhees to your yard if you leave overgrown borders and they will visit platform feeders or ground feeders for Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Hulled Sunflower seeds, Cracked Corn, Millet, and Milo.

26. Yellow-rumped Warbler

yellow rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers are gray with flashes of yellow on the face, sides, and rump and white in the wings. Females may be slightly brown and winter birds are paler brown with bright yellow rumps and sides turning bright yellow and gray again in spring.

After breeding predominantly in Canada, but also parts of the Rockies and the Appalachian mountains. During migration, they can be seen in the Midwest before overwintering in the South, Southwest, and Pacific Coast as well as into Mexico and Central America.

Yellow-rumped Warblers can be found in coniferous forests, especially during the breeding season, during winter they can be found in open areas with fruiting shrubs. In summer they eat mostly insects and on migration and in winter they mostly fruit including bayberry and wax myrtle. 

You can attract Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard with sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter.

27. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

ruby crowned kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are small songbirds that are olive-green and the males have a brilliant red crown that is usually flat so hard to see, but really great if you do.

They breed across Canada and the western mountains before migrating to southern and southwestern states and Mexico for the winter.  They can also be seen during migration when they are widespread.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets can be hard to spot and they are fast-moving quiet birds that flit around in the foliage of lower branches and of shrubs and trees looking for spiders and insects.

They come to suet feeders or platform feeders for hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and mealworms.

28. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are small birds that are common at backyard feeders.  They are often mixed in with other birds such as chickadees and nuthatches. 

Downy woodpecker for identification

They have black and white coloring with a red patch at the back of their heads.  They look similar to the Hairy Woodpecker but smaller.

Downy woodpeckers can be found in woodlots, along streams, city parks and backyards and eat mainly insects beetle larvae, but also berries, acorns and grains.

To attract more Downy Woodpeckers to your backyard try suet feeders but they will also eat black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts on platform feeders.

Best Bird Feeders to Attract Birds in Utah

A variety of different bird feeders will attract the most species of birds

  1.  Tube Feeders can be filled with different types of birdseed and depending on the seed different birds will be attracted. Black oil sunflower seeds attract Goldfinches, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Pine Siskins.
  2. Ground Feeders or a tray below a Tube Feeder with Black oil sunflowers tube feeders attract Cardinals, Jays, Finches, and Sparrows.
  3. Platform feeders with Millet or Corn attract small and medium-sized birds such as sparrows, Blackbirds, Towhees, Juncos, Doves, Grackles, and Starlings.
  4. Peanut feeders attract Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Titmice, Jays, Juncos, Finches, and Sparrows.
  5. Suet Feeders are great, especially in winter, for Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Kinglets, Wrens, and Chickadees.
  6. Hummingbird feeders attract these tiny fascinating birds but they also attract other birds too.

How to Attract Birds to Your Yard in Utah

If you would like to attract more birds to your yard in Utah there are some tips:

  1. Provide bird feeders for different types of birds to get the most species to visit your yard.
  2. Provide a water feature such as a birdbath fountain or stream.  Ensure that the water is clean and not stagnant
  3.  Grow native plants that will provide food and shelter. Plants, trees, and shrubs that provide fruit, berries, and nuts. Blackberries, wild grasses, elderberries, serviceberries, Oaks, Beeches, Cherries, sumacs, hemlocks, Purple Coneflowers, Sunflowers, Milkweed, Cardinal Flowers, Trumpet Honeysuckle, Virginia Creeper, Buttonbush, and Dogwoods.
  4. Let your grass grow long to provide cover and seeds.
  5. Leave a brush pile to provide food, protection, and nesting opportunities for birds.
  6. Don’t use pesticides and herbicides as these may be toxic to birds and prevent the natural foraging opportunities for insects and seeds that birds will seek in your yard.
  7. Set up nest boxes to attract breeding birds and ensure they are cleaned every year.

How to Identify Birds in Utah

Here are some tips to help you identify birds:

  1. Size – Size is the easiest thing to notice about a bird.  Birds are often measured in inches or centimeters in guide books.  It’s best to take a note of the bird in terms of small, medium, or large to be able to look for it later. A small bird is about the size of a sparrow, a medium bird is about the size of a pigeon and a large bird is the size of a goose.
  2. Shape – Take note of the silhouette of the bird and jot it down or draw the outline.  Look at tail length, bill shape, wing shape, and overall body shape.
  3. Color pattern – Take a note of the main color of the head, back, belly, and wings, and tail for the main color and then any secondary colors or patterns. Also take note of any patterns such as banding, spots, or highlights.
  4. Behavior – Are they on the ground or high up in the trees. Are they in flocks or on their own?  Can you spot what they are eating?
  5. Habitat – Woodlands, parks, shrubs, grasslands or meadows, shore or marsh.
  6. Use a bird identification app such as those created by ebird or Audubon

Best Birding Sites in Utah

If you decide to venture out and go birding in Utah these are the top sites that give great bird watching opportunities in Utah:

  1. Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge Utah is a remote refuge of nearly 18,000 acres. The natural springs create a vast area of wetlands that attract, White Pelicans, Sandhill Crane, Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Osprey, and vast numbers of waterfowl.
  2. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Utah is a waterbird delight with more than 74,000 acres of marsh and upland habitats in a desert climate. There is a 12-mile auto tour loop and more than 200 species of birds can be found here, especially between March and November. 55,000 American White Pelicans nest on Great Salt Lakes’s Gunnison Island.
  3. Antelope Island State Park Utah is the stopping point for millions of migrating birds in late summer and early fall, including the spectacle of seeing hundreds of thousands of Eared Grebe and Wilson’s Phalarope feeding. Waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds in vast numbers flock to this state park.
  4. Ouray National Wildlife Refuge Utah in northeastern Utah stretches along 16 miles of the Green River providing a refuge in this desert environment. In the wetlands, there are Grebe, White Pelicans, Snowy Egret, Avocet plus many more wetland birds.  The grassland and woodland provide shelter for Wild Turkey, Osprey, Great Horned Owl, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Lewis’s Woodpeckers, and Sandhill Crane.
  5. Zion National Park Utah is home to California Condors whose numbers have increased thanks to conservation efforts. The spectacular scenery of the main canyon holds Peregrine Falcons, whose numbers have also increased.  Spotted Owl also call this home in the wooded canyons.

Birds to Spot if Out Birding in Utah

If you go out Birding in Utah these are other birds that are common to spot:

  1. Mallard
  2. Common Raven
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Red-tailed Hawk
  5. American Coot
  6. American Kestrel
  7. Killdeer
  8. California Gull
  9. Great Blue Heron
  10. Ring-billed Gull
  11. Northern Harrier
  12. Turkey Vulture
  13. Gadwall
  14. Northern Shoveler
  15. Pied-billed Grebe
  16. American Avocet
  17. American White Pelican
  18. California Quail
  19. Double-crested Cormorant
  20. White-faced Ibis
  21. Sandhill Crane
  22. Osprey
  23. California Condor
  24. Bald Eagles
  25. Golden Eagles