State of Washington
Washington State Bird
Name: American Goldfinch
Binomial Name: Carduelis tristis
Legislation of 1951
The Willow or American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) is a typical North American seed-eating member of the finch family, averaging 4-1/4 inches in length that breeds across southern Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland and through most of the United States north of the Gulf of Mexico and core Southwestern States.
They molt all but their black wing and tail feathers in the spring, and the bills of both sexes turn orange. The male of the species takes on a brilliant canary yellow plumage with a jet black cap and has a very pleasing call song. A white rump contrasts with the black tail while in flight. Their winter plumage is a duller olive-brown with some yellow still showing on the head.