Top 20 Most Common Backyard Birds in Utah
- American Robin
- Mourning Dove
- House Finch
- Barn Swallow
- Black-chinned Hummingbird
- Dark-eyed Junco
- European Starling
- Black-billed Magpie
- Northern Flicker
- Black-capped Chickadee
- Yellow Warbler
- House Sparrow
- Western Kingbird
- Song Sparrow
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Eurasian Collared-Dove
- White-crowned Sparrow
- Broad-tailed Hummingbird
- Chipping Sparrow
- Brown-headed Cowbird
1. American Robin
American Robins, which consume earthworms, are a common sight on lawns. Their heads and backs are black, while their breasts are crimson or orange. Because they prefer to roost in trees during the winter, you’re more likely to see them in your backyard starting in the spring.
American Robins can be found in various environments, including woods, forests, mountains, fields, parks, and lawns. Earthworms, insects, snails, and fruit are among their favorite foods.
Sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms can all be used to attract more American Robins to your yard. Platform feeders or food distributed on the ground are ideal—plant juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood, which are natural plants that produce berries.
2. Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves are small, graceful birds with plump bodies and long tails. The wings have light brown color with black markings.
In grasslands, pastures, and backyards, they can be observed perching on telephone wires and hunting for seeds on the ground. Mourning Doves can be found in open regions or along woodland edges. Mourning Doves are located across the lower 48 states throughout the year, but they may migrate after reproducing in the far north.
By sprinkling millet on the ground or platform feeders, you can attract more Mourning Doves to your yard. In addition to black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts, they will consume black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.
3. House Finch
Male House Finches have a redhead and breast, while females have brown-streaked coloring. It was initially exclusively found in western states, but it was introduced to eastern states and has thrived, even displacing the Purple Finch.
Parks, farms, woodland margins, and backyard feeders are good places to look for them. They congregate in large, boisterous groups that are difficult to miss. Thistle, cactus, cherries, apricots, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and figs are among the seeds, blooms, and fruit they eat.
Black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders will attract more House Finches to backyard feeders.
4. Barn Swallow
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Barn Swallows are tiny birds with a dark blue back, wings, and tail, as well as a reddish-brown underbelly and across the face. Long outer feathers form a deep fork in the bottom.
They breed across most of North America before migrating to Central and South America to breed. They are commonly seen soaring over meadows, farms, and fields, searching for insects, and they build mud nests in artificial structures such as barns.
Put up nest boxes or cups to attract more Barn Swallows, and they may eat ground-up eggshells on a platform feeder.
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
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Hummingbirds with black cheeks have a dull metallic green back and grayish-white underbelly. Females have a pale throat, and males have a black neck with a thin iridescent base.
They move from eastern states to western Mexico and the Gulf Coast. Black-chinned Hummingbird nests are built of plant down and spider silk, and they lay two tiny white eggs that are only 0.6 in long (1.3 cm)
Black-chinned Hummingbirds are frequently spotted perching on tiny bare branches at the tops of dead trees, and they often return to a favorite perch. They can be found in the Southwest amid canyons and rivers or along the Gulf Coast among shade oaks. They devour nectar, tiny insects, and spiders, and when feeding on nectar, their tongues may lick 13-17 times per second.
Hummingbird feeders filled with sugar and water, as well as native trumpet flowers in red and orange, can help you attract more Black-chinned Hummingbirds to your yard.
6. Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Juncos are sparrows that come in various hues depending on where they are found. In the east, they are slate-colored, whereas, in the west, they are black, white, and brown.
They are abundant over the continent and can be found in open and slightly wooded areas, generally on the ground. In the west and the Appalachian Mountains, some remain year-round residents. Those who breed in Canada and Alaska move south to the United States in the winter.
Black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts can all be used to attract additional Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders. The ideal feeders are platform feeders or those dispersed on the ground.
7. European Starling
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European starlings are not native to the United States, yet they have become birds. They’re stocky black birds with purple, green, and blue iridescent tones.
Some consider these birds to be pests because of their aggressive demeanor. They can be found perched in groups on the tops of trees or flying over fields in flocks.
Beetles, flies, caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders are insects that starlings fruit such as cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, and blackberries, as well as grains and seeds, are consumed by them.
Black oil sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, and peanuts can all be used to attract more European Starlings to your backyard feeders.
8. Black-billed Magpie
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Black-billed Magpies are noisy black and white birds with long tails with blue-green iridescent flashes in the wing and tail. They are larger than Jays.
They do not migrate and can be found feeding on fruit and grain, beetles, and grasshoppers in grasshoppers in meadows and grasslands, and they’ve also been known to kill small animals like squirrels and voles, as well as raiding bird nests for eggs and nestlings, as well as carrion.
Black-billed Magpies will frequent backyards searching for black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, fruit, suet, millet, and milo from platform and suet feeders.
9. Northern Flicker
Northern Flickers are large woodpeckers with brownish coloring, black spots, bars, and crescents, and red on the neck, about the size of a robin or a crow. Eastern birds’ tails and wing feathers are bright yellows, while western birds’ are red.
They can be spotted in woods and forest margins on the ground, hunting for ants and beetles. Those that breed in Canada or Alaska move to the south, but they can be found throughout the lower 48 all year.
Suet and black oil sunflower seeds will attract more Northern Flickers to your garden feeders.
10. Black-capped Chickadee
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The Black-capped Chickadee has a petite body and a large round head. These birds will happily eat from backyard feeders and inspect everything, including you!
Black-capped Chickadees have black-capped beaks and cheeks, white cheeks, and gray backs, wings, and tails. Forests, open woods, and parks are all excellent places to look for them. Black-capped chickadees eat seeds, berries, insects, spiders, and suet.
Suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts or peanut butter are all good ways to attract additional Black-capped Chickadees to your yard. They’ll even eat from your hand, and they’re usually the first to notice new feeders. They’ll also use nest boxes, especially if they’re filled with wood shavings.
11. Yellow Warbler
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Yellow Warblers are little brilliant yellow birds with a yellow-green back and chestnut stripes on the breast that can be seen in the summer.
They migrate a long way to breed and migrate throughout North America before wintering in Central and northern South America. They can be seen in the extreme south during migration.
Yellow Warblers can be seen foraging for insects such as caterpillars, midges, beetles, bugs, and wasps along streams and wetlands in thickets and along the borders of fields.
Because warblers are secretive and eat primarily insects, they are difficult to entice to your yard. Suet, oranges, and peanut butter can be used to attract Yellow Warblers and berries and native plants that attract insects, so no pesticides or excessive tidying! Birdbaths with fountains, as well as hidden thickets for safety.
12. House Sparrow
Another introduced species that has thrived and is now one of the most frequent birds is the House Sparrow. They’re ordinary near homes and buildings, and they’re incredibly tame, so they’ll eat right out of your hand.
House Sparrows can be found in most crowded settings, particularly in cities, towns, farms, and other places where humans congregate. Grain and seed, as well as wasted food, are their primary sources of nutrition. They are pests since they are non-native, yet they will still be found in backyards if you do not feed them.
Most types of birdseed, such as millet, corn, and sunflower seeds, will attract more House Sparrows to your backyard feeders.
13. Western Kingbird
Huge flycatchers with yellow bellies, whitish chests, gray heads, grayish-brown wings, and a darker tail, Western Kingbirds are large flycatchers with yellow bellies, whitish chests, gray heads, grayish-brown wings, and a darkbottomail.
They reproduce throughout western North America and are a common sight during the summer before traveling to Mexico and Central America, where some may overwinter.
They prefer open areas and are frequently seen sitting on fences and utility wires, waiting for insects to fly by before grabbing them mid-flight. They are commonly seen near the edge of woodlands, where they can nest in the trees and forage openly. They will also build their nests in artificial structures.
Making your yard insect-friendly and planting elderberry or hawthorn, which they will eat the fruit from, will attract more Western Kingbirds.
14. Song Sparrow
Song sparrows may not be as attractive as other backyard birds, but these primarily brown-streaked birds use their virtually continual song to attract mates in the spring and summer.
They are commonly perched on a low shrub singing in open, shrubby, and damp settings. They’re frequently seen at backyard feeders. For the winter, residents of eastern and western states relocate to central and southern states.
Beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms are among the insects and plants that Song Sparrows eat. Favorites are buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat, and rice.
Put black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders to attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders.
15. Red-winged Blackbird
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The all-black plumage of red-winged blackbirds, save for the vivid red and yellow shoulder patches, makes them simple to distinguish. In comparison to the streaky brown coloring of the males, the females are pretty drab.
They are frequently seen sitting on telephone wires, and during the breeding season, the males will fiercely protect their territory, even attacking individuals who come too close to nests. They roost in enormous flocks during the winter, numbering in the millions. Most of the United States is home to Red-winged Blackbirds; however, they may move after breeding in the extreme north.
Spread mixed grain and seeds on the ground to attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your yard. They’ll eat enormous tube feeders or platform feeders as well.
16. Eurasian Collared-Dove
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Eurasian Collared-Doves are an invasive species that first arrived in the United States in the 1980s and has since spread across the country. They are light brownish-gray in color with white patches on the tail and resemble Mourning Doves in appearance, but they have a black half collar at the nape of the neck, are more prominent, and have a square tail rather than a pointed tail.
They avoid dense forests prefer habitats near people where seeds are plentiful, like backyard feeders and farms. Eurasian Collared’Doves eat a range of sources and grains, but they also eat berries and insects.
Millet, oats, cracked corn, and Black oil sunflower seeds or hulled sunflower seeds on ground feeders can attract more Eurasian-Collared-Doves to your yard, but they may also visit platform or hopper feeders.
17. White-crowned Sparrow
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Large grey sparrows with long tails and small bills and striking black and white stripes on their heads, White-crowned Sparrows are large grayish sparrows with long tails and short noses.
They breed in Alaska and arctic Canada before migrating south for the winter to the lower 48 states and Mexico. Some may stay for the entire year along the Pacific Coast and west.
White-crowned Sparrows forage for seeds of weeds and grasses, as well as fruit such as elderberries and blackberries, in weedy fields, along roadsides, woodland margins, and in yards. Sunflower seeds and various other seeds dropped by other birds at feeders will attract more White-crowned Sparrows to your yard.
18. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
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Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are iridescent green on the back, brownish on the wings, and white on the chest and into the abdomen and reside at higher elevations. Females and youngsters have green dots on their necks and cheeks, while males have an iridescent rose throat.
Between late May and August, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds breed in high meadows and open forests between 5,000 and 10,000 feet in the mountain west before migrating to southern Mexico for the winter.
The Broad-tailed Hummingbird can slow their heart rate and lower its body temperature to reach a condition of inactivity due to the cold at higher elevations.
Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds visit hummingbird feeders to drink from larkspur, red columbine, sage, and scarlet gilia. They eat tiny insects to augment their nutrition, and their young are also fed insects.
Put sugar water in a hummingbird feeder and add tubular plants to your yard to attract more Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.
19. Chipping Sparrow
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Chipping Sparrows are slender, long-tailed birds with a rusty cap, black eye-line, grayish belly, and brown and black-streaked back. The colors are more subdued in the winter.
They are breeding across North America and Canada before wintering in Mexico and Florida. They may stay all year in the far south. In grassy forests, woodlands, parks, and backyards, they can be seen in small flocks hunting for seeds and insects in open ground.
Many types of birdseed, such as hulled sunflower seeds, nyjer seeds, cracked corn, millet, and milo, can be attracted to your yard using ground feeders, platform feeders, or hoppers.
20. Brown-headed Cowbird
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Brown-headed Cowbird males have short tails and thick heads and have a black body and brown head. Females are brown with faint striping all over.
They eat primarily on grass and weed seeds and can be found in grassland and woodland margins, fields, and backyards. They also eat grasshoppers and beetles, and females will eat snail shells and eggshells to keep their prolific egg-laying of over 35 eggs per season going.
They are frequently seen as a nuisance since they destroy the eggs of smaller songbirds to place their eggs in the nest and have the bird care for their offspring.
They breed in much of northern and western North America before moving south, although they spend the entire year in the Eastern and Southern states and the Pacific Coast.
Bird Hotspots In Utah
Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge
Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge is a national wildlife refuge in the United States. Consider a trek to this incredibly remote refuge, about 100 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, if you’re up for an adventure and have enough supplies and transportation. The oasis of Fish Springs is a long walk across the desert on rough roads, but it can make for a wonderful birding experience.
The natural springs have created a wetlands habitat covering 10,000 acres of the refuge’s 17,992 acres. This means many waterfowl, grebes, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, wading birds, Sandhill Crane, and shorebirds (including Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan). Ospreys can be seen during migration, Bald Eagles and Rough-legged Hawks can be seen in the winter, and Golden Eagles can be seen all year.
Fish Springs, Like many other desert oases, Fish Springs migratory birds have strayed from their usual travels. Some examples include the Reddish Egret, jaegers, Williamson’s Sapsucker, and Black-throated Blue Warbler. Short-eared Owl, Prairie Falcon, Loggerhead Shrike, Horned Lark, Marsh Wren, Sage Thrasher, Black-throated Sparrow, and Yellow-headed Blackbird are common birds sighted.
The refuge is best visited in the fall and spring. Consider the Pony Express riders and stagecoach passengers who made the oasis a frequent stop on their journeys if the journey seemed too long.
This natural environment in extreme southwestern Utah is very remarkable. It’s part of the Mojave Desert ecosystem, which barely penetrates Utah, and it’s home to flora and creatures that aren’t found anywhere else in the state. One of the reasons the Nature Conservancy bought it in the 1980s was the natural springs here, which provide an oasis in an arid environment.
Brigham Young University presently owns Lytle Ranch, a field research station and wildlife preserve. Visitors should phone 801-422-5052 at least a week ahead of time to schedule a visit. Camping is permitted in several areas.
Look for the Common Black-Hawk, which breeds on the outskirts of its range. Other species that may be seen by birders who travel over unpaved roads to reach the remote site (be sure to get directions from the website) include Gambel’s Quail, Wild Turkey, White-winged Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Lesser Nighthawk, Common Poorwill, Anna’s Hummingbird, Costa’s Hummingbird, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Gray Vireo, Bushtit, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Criss.
An.telope Island State Park
The late-summer and fall gathering of birds near the bridge to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake is one of the incredible birding phenomena of the millions of birds stop here during their journey here, with hundreds of thousands present on any given day. The stars are the Eared Grebe and Wilson’s Phalarope, although the list of other species is long.
The seven-mile causeway connects Antelope Island State Park to the lake. Many flies and brine shrimp provide food for shorebirds such as the American Avocet, Western Sandpiper, and Red-necked Phalarope, as well as the Bonaparte’s Gull. Waterfowl and wading birds, such as White-faced Ibis, can also be seen here.
Chukar, Northern Harrier, Long-billed Curlew, Burrowing Owl, Horned Lark, Rock Wren, Sage Thrasher, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Brewer’s Sparrow are among the birds found on Antelope Island.
Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, located just north of Bountiful, features a diverse bird population, w focusing on migrant waterfowl, summer wading birds and rails, and migrant shorebirds. However, it is best known for its Bald Eagle population, which can number in the dozens during the winter.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
To go to one of the best birding spots in the West, drive to the northern edge of the Great Salt Lake. Waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and other species rely on Bear River’s over 80,000 acres of marsh, mudflats, and open water for feeding, resting, and nesting.
Bear River is significant for several reasons: it is home to North America’s biggest nesting colony of White-faced Ibis, and the vast majority of migrant Black-necked Stilts pause here on their way north. The refuge serves as a crucial feeding location for the Great Salt Lake area’s vast colony of American White Pelicans. There are also 11 species of ducks, four species of grebes, six species of waders, nine species of shorebirds, and five species of gulls and terns that nest here.
Virginia Rail, Sora, Sandhill Crane, Short-eared Owl, Horned Lark, Marsh Wren, and Yellow-headed Blackbird are breeding birds. Birders may see Tundra Swans, Bald Eagles, Rough-legged Hawks, and Northern Shrikes in the winter.
Many of Bear River’s residents and visitors may be seen from a 12-mile vehicle route that gh the wetland complex. The refuge also features a great visitor center with displays, maps, and information.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is one of America’s most magnificently scenic national parks, and it’s a great place to go birding, thanks to its combination of ecosystems from the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert. It’s also notable for being home to three critically endangered species.
The last few California Condors were seized in a desperate bid to conserve the species, and the population was reduced to just captive birds. Thanks to decades of effort, condors can now be spotted in Zion around Angels Landing and on the Kolob Terrace Road near Lava Point. Peregrine Falcon populations, which plummeted in the twentieth century, recovered. The cliffs of Zion may be home to these strong fliers. Look for Spotted Owls in small woodland canyons, a species that has declined in recent decades.
White-throated Swift, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Gray Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Say’s Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Pinyon Jay, Steller’s Jay, Western Scrub-Jay, Mountain Chickadee, Juniper Titmouse, Bushtit, Pygmy Nuthatch, Western Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Towns
The Virgin River and its tributaries are good places for American Dipper. Keep an eye out for the lovely Painted Redstart, which is nearing the end of its range here.