Adopted in 1951.
The goldfinch is a delicate little bird with a yellow body and black wings, and although it eventually became the official state bird, many other birds were considered for the title. In 1928, legislators let school children select the state bird and the meadowlark won hands-down. It was a nice choice but seven other states already had chosen the same bird. Another vote was taken in 1931 by the Washington Federation of Women's Clubs. Many birds were nominated, but the goldfinch won handily over the tanager, song sparrow, junco and pileated woodpecker. Now there were two state birds and the Legislature decided to leave the final choice to school children. In 1951, children voted for the goldfinch and the Legislature made it unanimous.
The willow goldfinch is hereby designated as the official bird of the state of Washington.
[1951 c 249 § 1.]
Seeds from dandelions, sunflowers, ragweed, and evening primrose are the main source of food for the Eastern Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis). In late July or early August they build their nests from plant materials and line them with thistledown. The pale blue-white eggs of the Eastern Goldfinch incubate for two weeks and the young birds leave the nest when they are two to three weeks old.
The top of the male's head is topped with black. The bright yellow body has black wings and tail. The female has a dull olive-yellow body with a brown tail and wings. The male goldfinch acquires the same dull plumage in the winter months.
||Animalia -- animals|
||Chordata -- chordates|
||Vertebrata -- vertebrates|
||Aves -- birds|
||Passeriformes -- perching birds|
||Fringillidae -- buntings, finches, grosbeaks, old world finches, sparrows|
||Carduelis Brisson, 1760 -- goldfinches|
||Carduelis tristis (Linnaeus, 1758) -- american goldfinch, Jilguero canario|