Washington State Bird

American Goldfinch
Dale Thompson

Artwork courtesy of Dale Thompson,
P.O. Box 443, Eatonville, WA 98328;
(360) 832-3440

American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch was designated as the Washington State Bird in 1951. This beautiful golden bird is found throughout our state and is commonly seen in flocks in fields, bushes and trees. 

Dandelions, sunflowers and especially thistles, are preferred food - hence the scientific name Carduelis, from the Latin carduus, a thistle. 

The male American Goldfinch is characterized by his black cap and black wings. The female and young can be identified by the solid-color back and breast, stubby finch bill, wing bars, notched tail, whitish rump and roller-coaster flight. In autumn, the male takes on a grayish yellow color to resemble the female. 

The song is long, high and sweet. Keep your eye out for our state bird! 

For more information about the American Goldfinch, visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Bird Identification Information Center

For information about the Washington state official tree, insect, fish, and flower click here.

Copyright  2013 National Audubon Society, Inc