About the
Utah Ornithological Society
Bird Checklist for Utah
2004 and 2005

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.
In April of 2005, four new spcies were added making a total of 430 species on the checklist..


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.

  • Wilsonís 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 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).  Four new species were added in April of 2005 (noted in parenthesis).

Species removed from the 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

Where you can get published copies of the checklist:

Published copies of the checklist may be available through the following organizations in Utah:

  • U.S. Forest Service

  • Bureau of Land Management

  • Bureau of Reclamation

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • National Park Service

  • Utah Division of Parks and Recreation

  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

  • Utah Ornithological Society

  • Wild Bird Center (SLC & Layton)

  • Salt Lake Birders

  • Utah County Birders

Different versions of internet copies available:

The following are available from the  "Utah Birds Print Center:" 
(All contain the same list of species).

Regular version 2005
Updated in April 2005. It has the same information as the published version of the 2004 Utah checklist as described about with four new species added.
(4 pages - abundance, status)
Regular version 2004
Updated in February 2004. It has the same information as the published version of the 2004 Utah checklist as described about.
(4 pages - abundance, status)
WordPerfect 6/7/8 Version
This is a version of the above,  that you can download, reformat and publish any way you'd like.  If versions available from the "Print Center" don't fit your needs, you can download this one and format it to fit your own purposes
(abundance, status)
Two-page version for legal-sized paper
If you know how to print legal-sized document with your printer you can use this checklist.  If you're really good, you can print on both sides so you can get the whole checklist on one piece of paper.
(2 pages - abundance, status)
12 Month checklist
I you would like to keep track of the birds you see each month, you can print this 4 page checklist through the Print Center.
(4 pages - abundance, status with blanks for 12 months)
Taxonomic List
This checklist is shows how birds are related to each other according to scientific study.
(6 pages - orders, families, subfamilies, scientific and common names)