List of birds of Uruguay
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Uruguay. The avifauna of Uruguay has 475 species, of which five have been introduced by humans and 46 are rare or accidental. Eighteen species are globally threatened.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Uruguay.
The following tags have been used to highlight certain categories, but not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Uruguay
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Uruguay as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
The rheas are large flightless birds native to South America. Their feet have three toes rather than four which allows them to run faster. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Greater rhea, Rhea americana
The tinamous are one of the most ancient groups of bird. Although they look similar to other ground-dwelling birds like quail and grouse, they have no close relatives and are classified as a single family, Tinamidae, within their own order, the Tinamiformes. They are distantly related to the ratites (order Struthioniformes), that includes the rheas, emus and kiwis. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Brown tinamou, Crypturellus obsoletus
- Red-winged tinamou, Rhynchotus rufescens
- Spotted nothura, Nothura maculosa
The penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus (A)
- Rockhopper penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome
- Magellanic penguin, Spheniscus magellanicus
Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. Four species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Least grebe, Tachybaptus dominicus
- Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
- White-tufted grebe, Rollandia rolland
- Great grebe, Podiceps major
The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. Six species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans
- Royal albatross, Diomedea epomophora
- Grey-headed albatross, Thalassarche chrysostoma (A)
- Black-browed albatross, Thalassarche melanophris
- Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Thalassarche chlororhynchos
- Sooty albatross, Phoebetria fusca (A)
Shearwaters and petrels
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. Eighteen species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Antarctic giant petrel, Macronectes giganteus
- Hall's giant petrel, Macronectes halli
- Southern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialoides
- Cape petrel, Daption capense
- White-headed petrel, Pterodroma lessonii (A)
- Atlantic petrel, Pterodroma incerta (A)
- Soft-plumaged petrel, Pterodroma mollis (A)
- Blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea (A)
- Antarctic prion, Pachyptila desolata
- Slender-billed prion, Pachyptila belcheri
- Grey petrel, Procellaria cinerea
- White-chinned petrel, Procellaria aequinoctialis
- Kerguelen petrel, Aphrodroma brevirostris (A)
- Cory's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea
- Great shearwater, Ardenna gravis
- Sooty shearwater, Ardenna griseus
- Manx shearwater, Puffinus puffinus
- Subantarctic shearwater, Puffinus elegans (A)
The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. Five species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Wilson's storm petrel, Oceanites oceanicus
- White-faced storm petrel, Pelagodroma marina
- Black-bellied storm petrel, Fregetta tropica
- White-bellied storm petrel, Fregetta grallaria (A)
- Leach's storm petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)
The diving petrels are small auk-like birds found in the southern oceans. They feed on krill, copepods, small fish and squid. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Common diving petrel, Pelecanoides urinatrix
Boobies and gannets
- Brown booby, Sula leucogaster
Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Neotropic cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus
- Rock shag, Phalacrocorax magellanicus
- Imperial shag, Phalacrocorax atriceps
Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Magnificent frigatebird, Fregata magnificens
Bitterns, herons and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. Eleven species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Whistling heron, Syrigma sibilatrix
- Cocoi heron, Ardea cocoi
- Great egret, Ardea alba
- Little blue heron, Egretta caerulea
- Snowy egret, Egretta thula
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Striated heron, Butorides striata
- Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
- Rufescent tiger heron, Tigrisoma lineatum
- Stripe-backed bittern, Ixobrychus involucris
- Pinnated bittern, Botaurus pinnatus
Ibises and spoonbills
Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. Six species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Plumbeous ibis, Theristicus caerulescens
- Buff-necked ibis, Theristicus caudatus
- Bare-faced ibis, Phimosus infuscatus
- White-faced ibis, Plegadis chihi
- Puna ibis, Plegadis ridgwayi
- Roseate spoonbill, Platalea ajaja
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and are used upside-down. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Chilean flamingo, Phoenicopterus chilensis
The screamers are a small family of birds related to the ducks. They are large, bulky birds, with a small downy head, long legs and large feet which are only partially webbed. They have large spurs on their wings which are used in fights over mates and in territorial disputes. Eight species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Southern screamer, Chauna torquata
Ducks, geese and swans
Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.
- Fulvous whistling duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
- White-faced whistling duck, Dendrocygna viduata
- Black-bellied whistling duck, Dendrocygna autumnalis
- Black-necked swan, Cygnus melancoryphus
- Coscoroba swan, Coscoroba coscoroba
- Upland goose, Chloephaga picta
- Muscovy duck, Cairina moschata
- Comb duck, Sarkidiornis melanotos
- Ringed teal, Callonetta leucophrys
- Brazilian teal, Amazonetta brasiliensis
- Chiloe wigeon, Anas sibilatrix
- Yellow-billed teal, Anas flavirostris
- Yellow-billed pintail, Anas georgica
- White-cheeked pintail, Anas bahamensis
- Silver teal, Anas versicolor
- Blue-winged teal, Anas discors
- Cinnamon teal, Anas cyanoptera
- Red shoveler, Anas platalea
- Rosy-billed pochard, Netta peposaca
- Black-headed duck, Heteronetta atricapilla
- Masked duck, Nomonyx dominica
- Lake duck, Oxyura vittata
New World vultures
The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers. However, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carrion. Four species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Black vulture, Coragyps atratus
- Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura
- Lesser yellow-headed vulture, Cathartes burrovianus
- King vulture, Sarcoramphus papa
The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Hawks, kites and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight. Nineteen species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Swallow-tailed kite, Elanoides forficatus
- White-tailed kite, Elanus leucurus
- Snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis
- Long-winged harrier, Circus buffoni
- Cinereous harrier, Circus cinereus
- Rufous-thighed hawk, Accipiter erythronemius
- Bicoloured hawk, Accipiter bicolor
- Crane hawk, Geranospiza caerulescens
- Mantled hawk, Leucopternis polionotus
- Great black-hawk, Buteogallus urubitinga
- Savanna hawk, Buteogallus meridionalis
- Solitary eagle, Buteogallus coronatus
- Harris's hawk, Parabuteo unicinctus
- Black-collared hawk, Busarellus nigricollis
- Black-chested buzzard-eagle, Geranoaetus melanoleucus
- Roadside hawk, Buteo magnirostris
- Swainson's hawk, Buteo swainsoni
- White-tailed hawk, Buteo albicaudatus
- Red-backed hawk, Buteo polyosoma
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. Seven species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Southern caracara, Caracara plancus
- Yellow-headed caracara, Milvago chimachima
- Chimango caracara, Milvago chimango
- Spot-winged falconet, Spiziapteryx circumcinctus (A)
- American kestrel, Falco sparverius
- Aplomado falcon, Falco femoralis
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
Guans, chachalacas and allies
The Cracidae are large birds, similar in general appearance to turkeys. The guans and curassows live in trees, but the smaller chachalacas are found in more open scrubby habitats. They are generally dull-plumaged, but the curassows and some guans have colourful facial ornaments. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Chaco chachalaca, Ortalis canicollis
- Dusky-legged guan, Penelope obscura
- Nocturnal curassow, Nothocrax urumutum
The limpkin resembles a large rail. It has drab-brown plumage and a greyer head and neck.
- Limpkin, Aramus guarauna
Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers. Fifteen species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Speckled rail, Coturnicops notatus
- Rufous-sided crake, Laterallus melanophaius
- Red-and-white crake, Laterallus leucopyrrhus
- Grey-necked wood-rail, Aramides cajanea
- Giant wood-rail, Aramides ypecaha
- Dot-winged crake, Porzana spiloptera
- Yellow-breasted crake, Porzana flaviventer (A)
- Spotted rail, Pardirallus maculatus
- Plumbeous rail, Pardirallus sanguinolentus
- Purple gallinule, Porphyrio martinica
- Common gallinule, Gallinula galeata
- Spot-flanked gallinule, Porphyriops melanops
- White-winged coot, Fulica leucoptera
- Red-gartered coot, Fulica armillata
- Red-fronted coot, Fulica rufifrons
The seriemas are terrestrial birds which run rather than fly (though they are able to fly for short distances). They have long legs, necks and tails, but only short wings, reflecting their way of life. They are brownish birds with short bills and erectile crests, found on fairly-dry open grasslands. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Red-legged seriema, Cariama cristata
The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Wattled jacana, Jacana jacana
Painted snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- American painted-snipe, Rostratula semicollaris
Avocets and stilts
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- White-backed stilt, Himantopus melanurus
Plovers and lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. Eight species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Southern lapwing, Vanellus chilensis
- American golden-plover, Pluvialis dominica
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- Semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus
- Collared plover, Charadrius collaris
- Two-banded plover, Charadrius falklandicus
- Rufous-chested dotterel, Charadrius modestus
- Tawny-throated dotterel, Oreopholus ruficollis
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. Twenty four species which have been recorded in Uruguay.
- South American snipe, Gallinago paraguaiae
- Giant snipe, Gallinago undulata
- Hudsonian godwit, Limosa haemastica
- Eskimo curlew, Numenius borealis (A)
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus (A)
- Upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda
- Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
- Lesser yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes
- Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria
- Willet, Tringa semipalmata (A)
- Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Red knot, Calidris canutus
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Semipalmated sandpiper, Calidris pusilla (A)
- Least sandpiper, Calidris minutilla (A)
- White-rumped sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis
- Baird's sandpiper, Calidris bairdii
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos
- Stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus
- Buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis
- Ruff, Philomachus pugnax (A)
- Wilson's phalarope, Phalaropus tricolor
- Red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius
The seedsnipes are a small family of birds that resemble sparrows. They have short legs and long wings and are herbivorous waders. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Least seedsnipe, Thinocorus rumicivorus (A)
The sheathbills are scavengers of the Antarctic regions. They have white plumage and look plump and dove-like but are believed to be similar to the ancestors of the modern gulls and terns. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Snowy sheathbill, Chionis alba
Skuas and jaegers
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. Six species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Chilean skua, Stercorarius chilensis
- South polar skua, Stercorarius maccormicki
- Brown skua, Stercorarius antarctica (A)
- Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus
- Parasitic jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus
- Long-tailed jaeger, Stercorarius longicaudus (A)
Gulls and terns
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, kittiwakes and terns. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species living in excess of 30 years.
- Belcher's gull, Larus belcheri
- Olrog's gull, Larus atlanticus
- Kelp gull, Larus dominicanus
- Grey-headed gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus
- Brown-hooded gull, Chroicocephalus maculipennis
- Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
- Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis
- Royal tern, Thalasseus maximus
- South American tern, Sterna hirundinacea
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo (A)
- Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea
- Antarctic tern, Sterna vittata
- Snowy-crowned tern, Sterna trudeaui
- Least tern, Sternula antillarum (A)
- Yellow-billed tern, Sternula superciliaris
- Black tern, Chlidonias niger
- Large-billed tern, Phaetusa simplex
Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Black skimmer, Rynchops niger
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia (I)
- Picazuro pigeon, Patagioenas picazuro
- Spot-winged pigeon, Patagioenas maculosa
- Pale-vented pigeon, Patagioenas cayennensis
- Eared dove, Zenaida auriculata
- Ruddy ground-dove, Columbina talpacoti
- Picui ground-dove, Columbina picui
- White-tipped dove, Leptotila verreauxi
- Grey-fronted dove, Leptotila rufaxilla
Parrots, macaws and allies
Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two to the back. 10 species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Blue-crowned parakeet, Aratinga acuticaudata
- White-eyed parakeet, Aratinga leucophthalmus
- Nanday parakeet, Nandayus nenday
- Burrowing parrot, Cyanoliseus patagonus
- Maroon-bellied parakeet, Pyrrhura frontalis
- Monk parakeet, Myiopsitta monachus
- Red-spectacled parrot, Amazona pretrei
- blue-winged macaw, Primolius maracana
- Blue-fronted amazon, Amazona aestiva
- Blue-and-yellow macaw, Ara ararauna
Cuckoos and anis
- Ash-coloured cuckoo, Coccyzus cinereus
- Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus
- Dark-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus melacoryphus
- Squirrel cuckoo, Piaya cayana
- Greater ani, Crotophaga major
- Smooth-billed ani, Crotophaga ani
- Guira cuckoo, Guira guira
- Striped cuckoo, Tapera naevia
Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Barn owl, Tyto alba
The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. Nine species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Tropical screech-owl, Megascops choliba
- Variable screech-owl, Megascops atricapillus
- Long-tufted screech-owl, Megascops sanctaecatarinae
- Great horned owl, Bubo virginianus
- Ferruginous pygmy-owl, Glaucidium brasilianum
- Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia
- Buff-fronted owl, Aegolius harrisii
- Striped owl, Pseudoscops clamator
- Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus
The potoos (sometimes called poor-me-ones) are large near passerine birds related to the nightjars and frogmouths. They are nocturnal insectivores which lack the bristles around the mouth found in the true nightjars. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Common potoo, Nyctibius griseus
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. Seven species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor
- Nacunda nighthawk, Chordeiles nacunda
- Pauraque, Nyctidromus albicollis
- Band-winged nightjar, Caprimulgus longirostris
- Little nightjar, Caprimulgus parvulus
- Scissor-tailed nightjar, Hydropsalis torquata
- Sickle-winged nightjar, Eleothreptus anomalus
Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- White-collared swift, Streptoprocne zonaris (A)
Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. Nine 9 species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Black jacobin, Florisuga fuscus
- Black-throated mango, Anthracothorax nigricollis
- Festive coquette, Lophornis chalybeus
- Glittering-bellied emerald, Chlorostilbon aureoventris
- Violet-capped woodnymph, Thalurania glaucopis
- Gilded sapphire, Hylocharis chrysura
- White-throated hummingbird, Leucochloris albicollis
- White-chested emerald, Agyrtria brevirostris
- Blue-tufted starthroat, Heliomaster furcifer
Trogons and quetzals
The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Surucua trogon, Trogon surrucura
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Ringed kingfisher, Megaceryle torquatus
- Amazon kingfisher, Chloroceryle amazona
- Green kingfisher, Chloroceryle americana
Order: Piciformes Family: Ramphastidae Toucans are near passerine birds from the neotropics. They are brightly marked and have enormous, colourful bills which in some species amount to half their body length. There is one species which has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Toco toucan, Ramphastos toco
Woodpeckers and allies
Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. Nine species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Mottled piculet, Picumnus nebulosus
- White woodpecker, Melanerpes candidus
- White-fronted woodpecker, Melanerpes cactorum
- Checkered woodpecker, Veniliornis mixtus
- White-spotted woodpecker, Veniliornis spilogaster
- Green-barred woodpecker, Colaptes melanochloros
- Campo flicker, Colaptes campestris
- Crimson-crested woodpecker, Campephilus melanoleucos
- Cream-backed woodpecker, Campephilus leucopogon
Ovenbirds comprise a large family of small sub-oscine passerine bird species found in Central and South America. They are a diverse group of insectivores which gets its name from the elaborate "oven-like" clay nests built by some species, although others build stick nests or nest in tunnels or clefts in rock. THirty species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Common miner, Geositta cunicularia
- Scale-throated earthcreeper, Upucerthia dumetaria (A)
- Buff-winged cinclodes, Cinclodes fuscus
- Rufous hornero, Furnarius rufus
- Tufted tit-spinetail, Leptasthenura platensis
- Wren-like rushbird, Phleocryptes melanops
- Curve-billed reedhaunter, Limnornis curvirostris
- Straight-billed reedhaunter, Limnornis rectirostris
- Bay-capped wren-spinetail, Spartonoica maluroides
- Chotoy spinetail, Schoeniophylax phryganophila
- Sooty-fronted spinetail, Synallaxis frontalis
- Pale-breasted spinetail, Synallaxis albescens
- Chicli spinetail, Synallaxis spixi
- Rufous-capped spinetail, Synallaxis ruficapilla
- Grey-bellied spinetail, Synallaxis cinerascens
- Stripe-crowned spinetail, Cranioleuca pyrrhophia
- Sulphur-bearded spinetail, Cranioleuca sulphurifera
- Yellow-chinned spinetail, Certhiaxis cinnamomea
- Lesser canastero, Asthenes pyrrholeuca
- Short-billed canastero, Asthenes baeri
- Hudson's canastero, Asthenes hudsoni
- Little thornbird, Phacellodomus sibilatrix
- Greater thornbird, Phacellodomus ruber
- Freckle-breasted thornbird, Phacellodomus striaticollis
- Firewood-gatherer, Anumbius annumbi
- Lark-like brushrunner, Coryphistera alaudina
- Brown cacholote, Pseudoseisura lophotes
- Streaked xenops, Xenops rutilans
- Buff-browed foliage-gleaner, Syndactyla rufosuperciliata
- Sharp-tailed streamcreeper, Lochmias nematura
The Dendrocolaptidae are brownish birds which maintain an upright vertical posture, supported by their stiff tail vanes. They feed mainly on insects taken from tree trunks. Four species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Olivaceous woodcreeper, Sittasomus griseicapillus
- Scimitar-billed woodcreeper, Drymornis bridgesii
- Narrow-billed woodcreeper, Lepidocolaptes angustirostris
- Scaled woodcreeper, Lepidocolaptes squamatus (A)
The antbirds are a large family of small passerine birds of subtropical and tropical Central and South America. They are forest birds which tend to feed on insects at or near the ground. A sizable minority of them specialize in following columns of army ants to eat small invertebrates that leave their hiding places to flee from the ants. Many species lack bright colour; brown, black and white being the dominant tones. Two species have been recorded in Uruguay.
The gnateaters are round, short-tailed and long-legged birds, which are closely related to the antbirds. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Rufous gnateater, Conopophaga lineata
The cotingas are birds of forests or forest edges in tropical South America. Comparatively little is known about this diverse group, although all have broad bills with hooked tips, rounded wings and strong legs. The males of many of the species are brightly coloured, or decorated with plumes or wattles. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- White-tipped plantcutter, Phytotoma rutila
Tyrant flycatchers are passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, have plain colouring. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. Fifty seven species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Southern beardless-tyrannulet, Camptostoma obsoletum
- Large elaenia, Elaenia spectabilis
- White-crested elaenia, Elaenia albiceps
- Small-billed elaenia, Elaenia parvirostris
- Highland elaenia, Elaenia obscura (A)
- Sooty tyrannulet, Serpophaga nigricans
- White-crested tyrannulet, Serpophaga subcristata
- White-bellied tyrannulet, Serpophaga munda
- Mottle-cheeked tyrannulet, Phylloscartes ventralis
- Southern scrub-flycatcher, Sublegatus modestus
- Suiriri flycatcher, Suiriri suiriri
- Yellow-billed tit-tyrant, Anairetes flavirostris
- Many-coloured rush-tyrant, Tachuris rubrigastra
- Sharp-tailed tyrant, Culicivora caudacuta
- Bearded tachuri, Polystictus pectoralis
- Crested doradito, Pseudocolopteryx sclateri
- Warbling doradito, Pseudocolopteryx flaviventris
- Tawny-crowned pygmy-tyrant, Euscarthmus meloryphus
- Ochre-faced tody-flycatcher, Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps
- Pearly-vented tody-tyrant, Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer
- Yellow-olive flycatcher, Tolmomyias sulphurescens
- Bran-coloured flycatcher, Myiophobus fasciatus
- Cliff flycatcher, Hirundinea ferruginea
- Euler's flycatcher, Lathrotriccus euleri
- Vermilion flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus
- Grey monjita, Xolmis cinerea
- Black-crowned monjita, Xolmis coronata
- White monjita, Xolmis irupero
- Rusty-backed monjita, Xolmis rubetra (A)
- Black-and-white monjita, Xolmis dominicanus
- Chocolate-vented tyrant, Neoxolmis rufiventris
- Grey-bellied shrike-tyrant, Agriornis microptera
- Lesser shrike-tyrant, Agriornis murina
- Little ground-tyrant, Muscisaxicola fluviatilis
- Dark-faced ground-tyrant, Muscisaxicola maclovianus
- Austral negrito, Lessonia rufa
- Blue-billed black-tyrant, Knipolegus cyanirostris
- White-winged black-tyrant, Knipolegus aterrimus
- Crested black-tyrant, Knipolegus lophotes
- Spectacled tyrant, Hymenops perspicillatus
- Black-backed water-tyrant, Fluvicola albiventer
- White-headed marsh-tyrant, Arundinicola leucocephala
- Strange-tailed tyrant, Alectrurus risora
- Yellow-browed tyrant, Satrapa icterophrys
- Cattle tyrant, Machetornis rixosus
- Rufous casiornis, Casiornis rufa
- Swainson's flycatcher, Myiarchus swainsoni
- Short-crested flycatcher, Myiarchus ferox
- Brown-crested flycatcher, Myiarchus tyrannulus
- Great kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus
- Streaked flycatcher, Myiodynastes maculatus
- Variegated flycatcher, Empidonomus varius
- Crowned slaty flycatcher, Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus
- Tropical kingbird, Tyrannus melancholicus
- Eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus (A)
- Fork-tailed flycatcher, Tyrannus savana
Becards and tityras
- Green-backed becard, Pachyramphus viridis
- White-winged becard, Pachyramphus polychopterus
- White-naped xenopsaris, Xenopsaris albinucha
Swallows and martins
The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. Eleven species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Brown-chested martin, Progne tapera
- Grey-breasted martin, Progne chalybea
- Southern martin, Progne elegans
- White-rumped swallow, Tachycineta leucorrhoa
- Chilean swallow, Tachycineta meyeni
- Blue-and-white swallow, Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
- Tawny-headed swallow, Alopochelidon fucata
- Southern rough-winged swallow, Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
- Bank swallow, Riparia riparia
- Cliff swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
Wagtails and pipits
Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. Four species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Correndera pipit, Anthus correndera
- Short-billed pipit, Anthus furcatus
- Hellmayr's pipit, Anthus hellmayri
- Yellowish pipit, Anthus lutescens
The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. Two species have been recorded in Uruguay.
Mockingbirds and thrashers
The mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, especially their ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. Their colouring tends towards dull-greys and browns. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Chalk-browed mockingbird, Mimus saturninus
- Patagonian mockingbird, Mimus patagonicus (A)
- White-banded mockingbird, Mimus triurus
Thrushes and allies
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. Four species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Yellow-legged thrush, Turdus flavipes (A)
- Rufous-bellied thrush, Turdus rufiventris
- Creamy-bellied thrush, Turdus amaurochalinus
- White-necked thrush, Turdus albicollis
These dainty birds resemble Old World warblers in their build and habits, moving restlessly through the foliage seeking insects. The gnatcatchers and gnatwrens are mainly soft bluish grey in colour and have the typical insectivore's long sharp bill. They are birds of fairly open woodland or scrub, which nest in bushes or trees. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Masked gnatcatcher, Polioptila dumicola
Crows, jays, ravens and magpies
The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Purplish jay, Cyanocorax cyanomelas
- Azure jay, Cyanocorax caeruleus (A)
- Plush-crested jay, Cyanocorax chrysops
Waxbills and allies
The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- Common waxbill, Estrilda astrild (I)
The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. Two species have been recorded in Uruguay.
New World warblers
The New World warblers are a group of small, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. Five species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Tropical parula, Setophaga pitiayumi
- Blackpoll warbler, Setophaga striata
- Masked yellowthroat, Geothlypis aequinoctialis
- Golden-crowned warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus
- White-rimmed warbler, Basileuterus leucoblepharus
The tanagers are a large group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, mainly in the tropics. Many species are brightly coloured. They are seed eaters, but have a preference for fruit and nectar. Most have short, rounded wings.
- Ruby-crowned tanager, Tachyphonus coronatus (A)
- White-lined tanager, Tachyphonus rufus
- Black-goggled tanager, Trichothraupis melanops (A)
- Hepatic tanager, Piranga flava
- Sayaca tanager, Thraupis sayaca
- Blue-and-yellow tanager, Thraupis bonariensis
- Diademed tanager, Stephanophorus diadematus
- Fawn-breasted tanager, Pipraeidea melanonota(A)
- Chestnut-backed tanager, Tangara preciosa
- Bananaquit, Coereba flaveola
- Many-coloured Chaco-finch, Saltatricula multicolor
- Red-crested finch, Coryphospingus cucullatus
- Grey-hooded sierra-finch, Phrygilus gayi (A)
- Mourning sierra-finch, Phrygilus fruticeti (A)
- Black-crested finch, Lophospingus pusillus (A)
- Long-tailed reed-finch, Donacospiza albifrons
- Common diuca-finch, Diuca diuca
- Cinnamon warbling-finch, Poospiza ornata (A)
- Black-and-rufous warbling-finch, Poospiza nigrorufa
- Grey-throated warbling finch, Poospiza cabanisi
- Ringed warbling-finch, Poospiza torquata (A)
- Black-capped warbling-finch, Poospiza melanoleuca
- Blue-black grassquit, Volatinia jacarina
- Rusty-collared seedeater, Sporophila collaris
- Double-collared seedeater, Sporophila caerulescens
- Pearly-bellied seedeater, Sporophila pileata (A)
- Tawny-bellied seedeater, Sporophila hypoxantha
- Dark-throated seedeater, Sporophila ruficollis
- Marsh seedeater, Sporophila palustris
- Chestnut seedeater, Sporophila cinnamomea
- Narosky's seedeater, Sporophila zelichi (A)
- Band-tailed seedeater, Catamenia analis (A)
- Uniform finch, Haplospiza unicolor (A)
- Saffron finch, Sicalis flaveola
- Grassland yellow-finch, Sicalis luteola
- Wedge-tailed grass-finch, Emberizoides herbicola
- Great Pampa-finch, Embernagra platensis
- Yellow cardinal, Gubernatrix cristata
- Red-crested cardinal, Paroaria coronata
- Yellow-billed cardinal, Paroaria capitata
Buntings, sparrows and allies
The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. Three species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Stripe-capped sparrow, Aimophila strigiceps (A)
- Grassland sparrow, Ammodramus humeralis
- Rufous-collared sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis
Saltators, cardinals and allies
The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. Five species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Greyish saltator, Saltator coerulescens
- Green-winged saltator, Saltator similis
- Golden-billed saltator, Saltator aurantiirostris
- Ultramarine grosbeak, Cyanocompsa brissonii
- Glaucous-blue grosbeak, Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea
Troupials and allies
The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds and New World orioles. Most species have black as the predominant plumage colour, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. Seventeen species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus
- Saffron-cowled blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus
- Yellow-winged blackbird, Agelasticus thilius
- Unicoloured blackbird, Agelasticus cyanopus
- Chestnut-capped blackbird, Chrysomus ruficapillus
- White-browed blackbird, Sturnella superciliaris
- Pampas meadowlark, Sturnella defilippii
- Grayish baywing, Agelaioides badius
- Screaming cowbird, Molothrus rufoaxillaris
- Shiny cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis
- Variable oriole, Icterus pyrrhopterus
- Golden-winged cacique, Cacicus chrysopterus
- Solitary cacique, Cacicus solitarius
- Yellow-rumped marshbird, Pseudoleistes guirahuro
- Brown-and-yellow marshbird, Pseudoleistes virescens
- Scarlet-headed blackbird, Amblyramphus holosericeus
- Chopi blackbird, Gnorimopsar chopi
Siskins, crossbills and allies
Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. Six species have been recorded in Uruguay.
- Purple-throated euphonia, Euphonia chlorotica
- Violaceous euphonia, Euphonia violacea (A)
- Antillean euphonia, Euphonia musica
- European greenfinch, Chloris chloris (I)
- European goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis (I)
- Hooded siskin, Spinus magellanica
Sparrows are small passerine birds. sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. One species has been recorded in Uruguay.
- House sparrow, Passer domesticus (I)
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of Uruguay". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- Clements, James F. (2000). Birds of the World: a Checklist. Cornell University Press. p. 880. ISBN 0-934797-16-1.
- Birds of Uruguay - World Institute for Conservation and Environment