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Utah Bird Records Committee
Official Utah Bird Checklist


2021, 2019, 2018, 2009 2004 and Others


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2023 Checklist


Periodically, the checklist committee of the American Ornithology Society will split, merge, or rename species and reorder the list according to their studies on  how the species are related.  This updated checklist for Utah reflects these changes.

Some or the more noticeable changes are:  our Northern Goshawk had been split from the Eurasian species and is now called the American Goshawk.  The Pacific-slope  and  Cordilleran Flycatchers were merged, after a previous split, and are again called Western Flycatcher.  There are also new genus and species names which will show up in the taxonomic lists. Here are some changes:

Northern Goshawk is now American Goshawk, 
   and  Accipitor atricapillus rather than A. gentilis. (from a split)
Northern Harrier has a new species name: C.hudsonius
    rather than Cirus cyaneus, which is the Hen Harrier of Eurasia.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet is now in a different genus than
   Goldern-crowned Kinglet - Corthylio rather than Regulus
The genus name for five warbler has been changed to Leiothlypis.
   They are: Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Lucy's, Nashville and Virginia's Warblers.

                                  | 2023 Utah Checklist |

2021 Checklist


With the change in the bylaws requiring physical evidence or two accepted sightings without physical evidence, to put a species on our main checklist, there were six species removed from our official checklist and put on the new Provisional Species List.

The new Provisional Species List contains species that are NOT on the main checklist but have one sight record that has been accepted by the Committee without physical evidence.  The six of the seven species on this list that were removed from the previous checklist are: Garganey, Bar-tailed Godwit, Elf Owl, Louisiana Waterthrush, Field Sparrow and Baird's Sparrow.  The other species on this list is Blue-throated Mountain-gem which was added to the list after accepting a record taken from an old report on a sighting of this species.

| 2021 Utah Checklist |


2019 Checklist


The code system for the Bird Checklist for Utah has been simplified removing the "Fairly Common" and the "Irregular" categories from the "Abundance Codes" and "Provisional species" and the "Northern Utah" designations for the Status Codes. All codes were reviewed and updated when appropriate.. The names and order of the birds are according to the 7th edition of AOU checklist, 58th supplement.

Since the 2018 checklist,  four new species (Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Dusky-capped flycatcher, Blue-footed Booby and Great Black-backed Gull) have been added to the checklist and one has been removed because of a species merge. (Thayer's Gull is now a subspecies of Iceland Gull), making a total of 465 species on this checklist. 

                 | Changes to the 2019 Utah Checklist |

2018 Checklist


The Bird Checklist for Utah has been revised  and updated with changed names, combined species, and updated abundance and status codes. The names and order of the birds are according to the 7th edition of AOU checklist, 58th supplement.

Since the 2009 checklist, 20 new species have been added, and two species combined,  making a total of 462 species on this checklist..

  | 2018 Utah Checklist |       


Bald Eagle  photo  by Kent Keller  ©Kent R. Keller    

Species added to the 2018 Checklist since the 2009 Checklist
        Species Name   Date Added  Sight Record #

     Pacific-slope Flycatcher 6 Jan 2018 2015-24R
  Arctic Tern 20 Oct 2017 2017-46
  Bell's Sparrow 19 Jun 2017 2017-06
  Black-throated Green Warbler 31 May 2017 2017-19
  Common Crane 15 May 2017 2017-18
  California Condor 18 Jun 2016 Sightings
  Laughing Gull 20 Feb 2015 2015-03
  Nelson's Sparrow 8 Nov 2014 2014-027
  Mississippi Kite 9 Aug 2014 2014-013
  Allen's Hummingbird 25 Feb 2014 2013-83
  Streak-backed Oriole 21 Feb 2014 2014-001
  Bar-tailed Godwit 5 Jan 2014 2013-64
  Winter Wren 24 Apr 2013 2012-22
  Tropical Kingbird 16 Dec 2012 2012-35
  Gilded Flicker 15 Sep 2012 2012-27
     Purple Sandpiper 4 Feb 2011 2010-48
  Pyrrhuloxia 30 Oct 2010 2010-33
  Thick-billed Kingbird 20 Feb 2010 2009-29
  Brown-capped Rosy-Finch 22 Jan 2010 2008-36
  Iceland Gull 21 Nov 2009 2008-31

*Thayer's Gull and Iceland Gull have been combined under the species name, "Iceland Gull."    (See First State Records page)

Name Changes since 2009
     Old Name      New Name     Reason

     Thayer's Gull Iceland Gull Merge
  Whip-poor-will Mesican Whip-poor-will Split
  Magnificent Hummingbird Rivoli's Hummingbird Split
  Winter Wren Pacific Wren Split
  Western Scrub-Jay Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay Split
  Sage Sparrow Sagebrush Sparrow Split
  Common Moorhen Common Gallinule Split


2009 Checklist


The Bird Checklist for Utah has revised and updated abundance and status codes and has a new indicator (+) for "provisional species," which are species accepted on sight records alone (no physical evidence). The names and order of the birds are according to the 7th edition of AOU checklist, 49th supplement.

Since the 2004 checklist, 17 new species have been added,  making a total of 443 species on this checklist..

 | 2009 Utah Checklist

Wilson's Snipe  photo  by Jack Binch  ©Jack Binch

2009 Revision of the Checklist:

According to the new abundance and status codes some species are becoming more common in the state while others are becoming less common.  Below is a table of the code changes showing a increase or decrease of abundance:
  Becoming more common Old Codes New Codes
     Horned Grebe RT UT,RW
  Great Egret RT,RS US,RW
  Broad-winged Hawk OT RT
  Ferruginous Hawk US,RW UP
  Baird's Sandpiper UT FT
  Bonaparte's Gull UT FT
  Eurasian Collared-Dove RP CP
  Common Poorwill FS CS
  Calliope Hummingbird RS UT,RS
  Vermilion Flycatcher RS R
  Cassin's Vireo RT UT
  Juniper Titmouse FP CP
  Verdin FP CP
  Winter Wren RW RP
  Glossy Ibis A O
  Becoming less common    
     Greater White-fronted Goose RT,RW RT
  Tundra Swan CT,CW UT,UW
  Surf Scoter RW RT
  White-winged Scoter RW RT
  Black Scoter OW OT
  Gyrfalcon OT,OW A
  Mountain Plover RS OS
  Western Sandpiper CT,RW CT
  Long-tailed Jaeger O A
  Glaucous Gull R RW
  Yellow-billed Cuckoo RS OS
  Northern Saw-whet Owl UP RP
  Least Flycatcher OS OT
  Blue-headed Vireo O A
  Northern Mockingbird CS,UW UP
  Brown Thrasher OW OT
  Le Conte's Thrasher O A
  Blue Grosbeak FS US
  Bobolink US RS

  Other Changes
   Species added to the Washington County list:

      Zone-tailed Hawk
      Common Moorhen
   Species added to the Northern Utah list: 
      Lark Bunting
      Snow Bunting

Provisional Species:

Eighteen species listed on the checklist have been accepted on sight records alone.  The individual sight records of group of sight records are deemed to be of sufficient weight to include that species on the official state list.  These species are listed on the Auxiliary Lists along with species that have been reported but have not been accepted by the committee and also a list introduced species some that are on the checklist and others that are not..

Species added to the 2009 checklist:  (with links to the initial sight record)
        Whip-poor-will Painted Bunting Ruby-throated Hummingbird     
  Baird's Sparrow Neotropic Cormorant      Cackling Goose
  Purple Finch Western Gull White Ibis
  Pine Warbler Gray Hawk Blue-headed Vireo
  Sharp-tailed Sandpiper      Pacific Golden-Plover Rufous-backed Robin
  Cape May Warbler Glossy Ibis  


2004 Checklist

Black-necked Stilt photo  by Kent Keller  ©Kent Keller

The Utah Bird Checklist for Utah has been thoroughly revised and updated. 
The abundance and status codes are current and
the names and order of the birds is according to the latest AOU checklist.
In March of 2004, 22 new species were added, two were taken off and the names of five species
were changed. Making a total of 426 when published
In April of 2005, four new species were added making a total of 430 species on the checklist..

 | 2004 Utah Checklist

2004 Revision of the Checklist:

The Checklist committee was made up of four members of the Utah Bird Records Committee.  Terry Sadler and Merrill Webb were co-chairmen of the committee, Ron Ryel was a consultant for the northern part of the state and Rick Fridell was a consultant for the southern part of the state.  Two new abundance codes were added to round out the set.  A "fairly common" category was added to bridge the gap between "common" and "uncommon," and a new category "accidental" was added to indicate that the species would be out of its normal range, as opposed to an "occasional' species which would not be seen every year, but would be expected to show up now and then.  A "^" code was added to indicate that the species was found primarily in the northern part of the state as a complement to the already existing "*" code which indicates that the species is found primarily in Washington County in the southwest corner of Utah.

All members of the committee submitted their abundance and status codes for all of the species independently and then the differences were discussed and the  final decisions were made.  It is significant to note that there were very few differences among the codes of all four committee members and the differences that did come up were quite minor.   This would possibly indicate that although the codes are not scientific, they do describe very well how often you would expect to see a certain species during the course of normal observation.

Names and list order:

The name and list order correspond with the recently updated 7th American Ornithologist's Union Check-list of North American Birds and the 44th supplement of that Check-list.  There were some name changes and new species split from old ones:

  • American Three-toed Woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis, was separated from the Three-toed Woodpecker of Europe, Picoides tridactylus.

  • Greater Sage-Grouse was renamed when the old "Sage Grouse," species was split.

  • Gunnison Sage-Grouse became a new species, Centrocercus minimus, as a split-off of  the above mentioned "Sage Grouse."

  • Long-tailed Duck was rename, for reasons of political correctness most likely, from "Oldsquaw."

  • Rock Pigeon is the new name for the old "Rock Dove," better placing it with a more similar group of birds.

  • Wilson’s Snipe, Gallinago delicata, was split from the Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago, of Europe and Asia.

  • Black-billed Magpie became a new species Pica hudsonia being split from the Magpie of Europe and elsewhere, Pica pica.

The main changes in order are that the "duck, swans and geese" group (Answeriiformes) has been moved to the beginning of the list and is followed by the the "grouse and quail" group (Galliformes).  Other than that, the order is about the same.

Species added to the 2004 checklist:

There were 22 new species added to the 1998 checklist in March of 2004. All but one of them were new sightings for Utah.  The Gunnison Sage-Grouse was added because of a species split: (Click the name to see the record submitted to the Records Committee). 

Species removed from the previous checklist:

Because there were two species whose records were not able to be completely validated by the  Records Committee, they were removed from the list so that the committee can fully stand behind the contents of this checklist. These species are:

  • Bar-tailed Godwit

  • Laughing Gull


Other Utah Checklists

Tundra Swans   
Margaret T. Sanchez   ©Margaret T. Sanchez


Year Number of Species Compiler
2021* 461 UBRC - updated to reflect bylaws change
2019* 465 UBRC - codes modified & updated
2018* 462 UBRC
2009* 443 UBRC
2004* 426 UBRC
1998 406 UOS, Record Committee
1991 380 UOS, Record Committee
1990 335 Mark Bromley & Merrill Webb
1985 324 Mark Bromley & Merrill Webb
1975 390 Natural History Museum, Vernal

             * See details in text above.