14 North American Animals That Start With U (Pictures)

In this article by Wildlife Informer, readers are introduced to 14 North American animals that all have names beginning with the letter U. From the Utah prairie dog to the Unlined giant chafer beetle, this diverse range of creatures showcases the unique and fascinating wildlife found in North America. Each animal is accompanied by a brief description and a captivating image, allowing readers to learn about and appreciate the extraordinary diversity of life on the continent. Whether it’s the ground-dwelling Utah prairie dog or the elusive Unalaska collared lemming, readers are sure to discover some hidden gems within this collection of North American animals that start with U.

Wildlife Mammals

Uinta ground squirrel

The Uinta ground squirrel, scientifically known as Spermophilus armatus, is a mammal that is native to the Uinta Mountains in the western United States. These ground squirrels are slightly larger than your average squirrel and have a distinctive yellowish-brown fur with white stripes on their back. They are known for their burrowing behavior and can be found in orchards, yards, and around building patios, fences, and decks. Despite their name, they are not actually dogs but belong to the squirrel family. Uinta ground squirrels are fascinating creatures that live in tight-knit communities in their complex tunnels that connect to large underground “rooms.”

Uinta chipmunk

The Uinta chipmunk, scientifically known as Neotamias umbrinus, is a small mammal that can be found in mountainous and sub-alpine forests in the western United States. These chipmunks have reddish-brown fur with light stripes on their back and are known for their ability to store acorns in their cheek pouches. Uinta chipmunks are skilled climbers and can often be found in trees, but they also burrow under logs, rocks, and brushes. They are a common sight in their natural habitat and play an important role in the ecosystem.

Utah prairie dog

The Utah prairie dog, scientifically known as Cynomys parvidens, is a rodent native to southwestern Utah. These prairie dogs are not actually dogs but belong to the squirrel family. They live on valley floors at elevations ranging from 5,400 feet to mountain habitats up to 9,500 feet. Utah prairie dogs have a yellowish-brown fur and are known for their complex tunnel systems. They live in tight-knit communities and their tunnels connect to large underground “rooms.” Although they have faced habitat loss and population decline in recent years, efforts are being made to conserve and protect these unique creatures.

Reptiles & Amphibians

Upland chorus frog

The upland chorus frog, scientifically known as Pseudacris feriarum, is a small amphibian that can be found in woodlands, grassy areas, bogs, and wetlands throughout the eastern United States. These frogs are typically grey or brown in color with a light line across their upper lip. They are known for their distinctive mating call, which is a repeated “prreep” or “crreek” sound. Upland chorus frogs are considered secretive and nocturnal, making them more commonly heard than seen. They play an important role in the ecosystem as insect eaters and indicators of the overall health of their environment.


Upland sandpiper

The upland sandpiper, scientifically known as Bartramia longicauda, is a bird species that can be found in North America. They have a dove-like head, long neck, and marbled brown and black back and wings. Upland sandpipers breed in North America, including Alaska, Montana, Oklahoma, New England, and Oregon, and then migrate south to countries in South America such as Argentina and Brazil for the winter. These birds prefer open grasslands over coastal habitats and feed on a diet consisting of grasshoppers, weevils, beetles, moths, spiders, snails, and ants.

Unicolored jay

The unicolored jay, scientifically known as Aphelocoma unicolor, is a bird species that can be found in Mexico and Central America. These birds have a deep-blue plumage and are known for their uniform coloration. Unicolored jays are predominantly found in wet cloud forests and can be seen hunting for large insects, fruit, seeds, and small vertebrates. They are arboreal birds, meaning they spend most of their time in trees and rarely come down to the ground. Unicolored jays are a lesser-known bird species but are a remarkable sight in their natural habitat.

Uniform finch

The uniform finch, scientifically known as Haplospiza unicolor, is a bird species native to South America. These small finches have plain dark gray plumage in males, while females have olive-brown feathers with streaky breasts. You can often find uniform finches at forest borders in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. They are commonly associated with bamboo plants and forage near or on the ground. Uniform finches have a distinctive high-pitched and buzzy sound. Despite their plain appearance, they are fascinating birds to observe in their natural habitat.

Uniform crake

The uniform crake, scientifically known as Amaurolimnas concolor, is a bird species that resides in the wetlands and swampy forests of southern Mexico and Central and South America. These crakes are large, brown birds that can grow up to 9 inches in length. They have distinctive orange to red legs and are skilled at wandering on the ground along forest swamps and streams. Uniform crakes are efficient hunters, feeding on spiders, insects, lizards, and small frogs. They play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of their wetland ecosystems.


Utah sucker

The Utah sucker, scientifically known as Catostomus ardens, is a freshwater fish species native to western North America. These fish have thick lips on their mouth, which are located on the underside of their head. They are a large species of sucker, capable of growing up to 25 inches long. Utah suckers can be commonly found in Lake Bonneville and the upper Snake River. They are adaptable to various water conditions, including cold or warm waters and those with sand, silt, gravel, or rocks. These fish are popular among anglers for their hard-fighting ways and are considered an achievement to catch, especially on ice tackle.

Utah chub

The Utah chub, scientifically known as Gila atraria, is a chunky freshwater fish species that can grow up to 18 inches long and weigh several pounds. They are native to western North America and are abundant in the Lake Bonneville basin and the upper Snake River. Utah chubs have faced population growth in some reservoirs, which has led to competition with trout for food. Biologists believe they may eventually establish themselves in the Mississippi River. These fish are fascinating to observe, and their presence is an essential part of their ecosystem.

It’s incredible to discover the diverse range of North American wildlife that starts with the letter U. From mammals like the Uinta ground squirrel and Uinta chipmunk to reptiles like the upland chorus frog, and birds such as the upland sandpiper, unicolored jay, uniform finch, and uniform crake, there is no shortage of fascinating creatures. Even the world of fish introduces us to the Utah sucker and Utah chub. Each of these animals plays a unique role in their respective ecosystems, and their existence reminds us of the incredible diversity and beauty of the natural world.

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