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State Birds of the US
State Symbols: State Birds

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New Jersey State Bird

Eastern Goldfinch now American Goldfinch aka Wild Canary

State Symbol: New Jersey State Bird - Eastern Goldfinch

(Carduelis tristis)

Adopted on June 27, 1935.

The Eastern Goldfinch, (Carduelis tristis,) now known as the American Goldfinch or Wild Canary is a typical North American seed-eating member of the finch (Fringillidae) family is the New Jersey state bird, having been so declared by Senate, No . 241 on June 27, 1935.

New Jersey adopted the goldfinch on June 27, 1935. And that's about all anyone knows about New Jersey's state bird!

Commented Robert Lupp, Supervising Librarian, New Jersey Publications, State Library, "Unfortunately, no information is available as to why the eastern goldfinch was chosen New Jersey's state bird. Neither the original bill nor the legislative journals (which do not record debate) provide a clue."

The American Goldfinch is the state bird of Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington

New Jersey State Bird:  American Goldfinch

State Symbol:New Jersey State Bird - Eastern Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch, or wild canary, is a delightful visitor to backyards where thistle seed is offered. They are abundant over most of North America where there is suitable habitat, except in the Cascade and Sierra Nevada Mountains. They are one of the world's 140 or so species of Cardueline finches (family Fringillidae) that include the House Finch, Pine Siskin, Lesser Goldfinch, Lawrence's Goldfinch, Common Redpoll and Hoary Redpoll, and in Europe the Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Twite and Linnet.

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.

Identification of the American Goldfinch:

  • Length: 4.25 inches
  • Small, seed-eating bird
  • Short, conical bill
  • Short, forked tail

Male alternate:

  • Plumage held in Spring and Summer
  • Black forehead
  • Yellow head, back, breast and belly
  • Black wings and tail
  • White wing bars and tertial edges
  • White rump and undertail coverts
  • Pale bill and legs

Female alternate:

  • Greenish upperparts
  • Yellow underparts
  • Pale bill and legs

Basic:

  • Plumage held in Fall and Winter
  • Yellow face
  • Brownish-olive upperparts
  • Whitish underparts
  • Blackish wings with pale wing bars

One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Legislature

The eastern goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) was adopted as the official state bird of New Jersey by an act of the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Legislature of the State of New Jersey on June 27, 1935.

See also Chapter 283, Laws of 1935.

"New Jersey adopted the goldfinch on June 27, 1935. And that's about all anyone knows about New Jersey's state bird! Commented Robert Lupp, Supervising Librarian, New Jersey Publications, State Library, "Unfortunately, no information is available as to why the eastern goldfinch was chosen New Jersey's state bird. Neither the original bill nor the legislative journals (which do not record debate) provide a clue."

New Jersey Statute

The law designating the Eastern goldfinch as the official New Jersey state bird is Section 52:9A-1 (Eastern goldfinch designated as state bird) of the New Jersey Statutes, Title 52 (STATE GOVERNMENT, DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICERS) Section 52:9A-1.

TITLE 52 - STATE GOVERNMENT, DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICERS.
SECTION 52:9A-1.

52:9A-1. Eastern goldfinch designated as state bird

The eastern goldfinch is hereby designated as the New Jersey state bird.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: American Goldfinch (Wild Canary)

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata - chordates
    Subphylum: Vertebrata - vertebrates
Class: Aves - birds
Order: Passeriformes - perching birds
Family: Fringillidae - buntings, finches, grosbeaks, old world finches, sparrows
Genus: Carduelis Brisson, 1760 - goldfinches
Species: Carduelis tristis (Linnaeus, 1758) - american goldfinch, Jilguero canario

Official State Birds
US map : Birds & Flowers
State Bird:  Bird selected (by the legislature) as an emblem of a State.
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