10 Birds That Start with U – A Birdwatcher’s Guide to U-Named Avian Wonders

Have you ever seen an unusual bird whose name you didn’t recognize? Exploring lesser-known avian species can be an enlightening experience for birdwatchers. In this guide, we’ll highlight 10 uplifting birds that start with U – from songbirds to birds of prey. Discovering these uncommon birds and their unique qualities is sure to lift your spirits.


Birdwatching allows us to discover feathered wonders in nature. But many birds remain a mystery to the average observer. Birds with unusual names beginning with “U” offer a world of surprises. From the Ukrainian Nightjar with its haunting evening song to the magnificent Upland Buzzard soaring over African grasslands, these avian marvels enlighten birdwatchers with their beauty, adaptability, and ecology.

This article explores 10 birds that start with U, highlighting their range, features, behaviours, and uplifting qualities. Discover the nocturnal Unicum Bird, magnificent Ulu the Owl, and the “living dreidel” of wings – the Udana Bird. Let’s embark on an uplifting birdwatching adventure!

10 Birds That Start with U

  1. Udana Bird

Scientific Name: Aerodramus fuciphagus

Habitat: Tropical forests of Southeast Asia

The Udana Bird inhabits dense jungle canopies in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. With a wingspan under 5 inches, this tiny swiftlet has glossy brown plumage and silvery undersides. Watching a flock of Udana Birds fluttering through the forest is like seeing living dreidels spinning through the trees! Their cheerful chirping brings joy to those lucky enough to observe these uplifting birds.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Ucumari Jay

Scientific Name: Cyanocorax beecheii

Range: Andean highlands of Peru and Bolivia

With its bushy crown feathers and brilliant blue hues, the Ucumari Jay is a visually striking species found in South American mountain forests. These intelligent birds exhibit complex social behaviours and problem-solving skills. Their loud screeches echo through the misty peaks, reminding hikers that beauty persists even in harsh environments. The Ucumari Jay’s resilience uplifts the human spirit.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Uist Wagtail

Scientific Name: Motacilla flava thunbergi

Range: Islands of Scotland

This subspecies of the Yellow Wagtail breeds exclusively on Scotland’s remote Outer Hebrides islands. Males sport a vivid yellow head and underparts, while females have paler plumage. The Uist Wagtail flits around rocky shores foraging for insects, bobbing its distinctive long tail. Its cheery song brightens even the gloomiest day on the windswept isles.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Ula-Ula

Scientific Name: Chaetura pelagica

Range: Coastal Peru

The Ula-Ula is a type of Swift that nests along sea cliffs and forages over the ocean. At high speeds they engage in dramatic mating displays, shrieking and diving through the air. Their aerobatic feats and high-pitched cries inspired ancient Andean cultures to incorporate these birds into folklore as magical creatures. For coastal inhabitants, the Ula-Ula remains an uplifting emblem of enduring spirit.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Umbrellabird

Scientific Name: Cephalopterus penduliger

Habitat: Tropical lowland rainforests of South America

Male Umbrellabirds have a distinctive umbrella-like crest that hangs over their bills. These fruit-eating birds are important dispersers of tree seeds in the Amazon. Watching a male Umbrellabird vocalize by inflating his throat sac is a bizarre yet touching experience. Despite their strange appearance, Umbrellabirds play a vital ecological role – a truly uplifting species.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Umm Al Qā’

Scientific Name: Phoenicurus moussieri

Range: Canary Islands and North Africa

This reddish-tailed chat gets its name from the Arabic phrase for “Mother of Winds” – a reference to its blustery island habitats. Though small, the Umm Al Qā’ is a tough survivor, eking out a living in semi-desert conditions. Its cheerful warbling carries over the wind, reminding listeners that small birds still find reason to sing, even in adversity.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Unicum Bird

Scientific Name: Agapornis lilianae

Range: Forests of Madagascar

With bright green and grey plumage, the Unicum Bird is a small parrot found only in one region of Madagascar. This rare species was once thought extinct until rediscovered in 1994. Local conservation efforts have increased its population. Catching sight of the lively Unicum Bird – once feared gone forever – brings profound hope that our actions can uplift even critically endangered species.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Upland Buzzard

Scientific Name: Buteo hemilasius

Range: Grasslands and mountains of sub-Saharan Africa

This large raptor uses its broad wingspan to soar elegantly over open country in search of small mammals. Watching an Upland Buzzard take to the skies inspires a sense of freedom. Though formidable predators, their graceful flight reminds us that beauty and strength can coexist harmoniously in nature.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Ulu the Owl

Scientific Name: Strix ulula

Range: Northern forests across Eurasia and North America

Easily recognized by its haunting, drawn-out hoots, the Ulu is a nocturnal owl of remote boreal forest. Its spectral cries in the darkness carry an otherworldly allure. Yet the Ulu is also a devoted parent, working cooperatively with its mate to raise young. This mysterious bird uplifts the spirit by revealing the wonders hidden in the night.

Birds That Start with U

  1. Ukrainian Nightjar

Scientific Name: Caprimulgus europaeus

Range: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

On summer evenings, the Ukranian Nightjar’s emphatic “churring” resonates across forest clearings and fields. Its cryptic plumage keeps it camouflaged as it rests on the ground by day. But at night, its calls speak to the magic of nature’s hidden realm. Let this intriguing nocturnal bird call you to explore nature’s mysteries.

Birds That Start with U

Tips for Uplifting Birdwatching

  • Focus your senses to appreciate sights, songs, and behaviours. This mindfulness lets the birds’ qualities shine.
  • Use field guides to identify unfamiliar birds by name, unlocking their stories.
  • Join birdwatching groups to share joy and expand your horizons. Citizen science projects unite enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Travel to new habitats and expand your life list. Seeing rare or range-restricted birds is profoundly uplifting.
  • Advocate for habitat conservation so future generations can also find inspiration taking flight with birds.
Conclusion of Birds Start with U

This guide only scratches the surface of uplifting birds that begin with the letter U. There are so many more marvellous species awaiting discovery. Exploring unusual and unknown birds opens our eyes to nature’s surprising beauty and strengthens our connection to the environment.

Listening to their voices, watching their flight, and learning about their struggles and adaptations uplifts our spirit. Let these extraordinary U-named birds spark your passion to continue exploring nature’s endlessly enlightening wonders.


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