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  • Writer's pictureEdward Leonard

Bird of the Day 4 July 2024: American Goldfinch

(ChatGPT in Italics)

Along the Snoqualmie River Trail near Three Forks, this American Goldfinch appeared like a beacon in the green. What better bird can there be for the Forth of July in Washington State where it is the State Bird?

The American Goldfinch is a vibrant symbol of the beauty and diversity of North American birdlife. Its brilliant plumage, lively behavior, and melodious song make it a favorite among bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. Whether seen flitting through a field of wildflowers or perched at a backyard feeder, the goldfinch brings a touch of sunshine to any landscape it graces.

The American Goldfinch became the Washington state bird through a process initiated by the Washington Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1928, the organization proposed a state-wide campaign to select an official state bird. The campaign aimed to engage schoolchildren across Washington state in voting for their favorite bird, thereby promoting interest in the state’s natural heritage and encouraging the conservation of local wildlife.

During the selection process, several bird species were considered, but the American Goldfinch, known for its vibrant yellow plumage and cheerful song, emerged as a popular choice. Its presence throughout Washington and its appealing, bright appearance made it a fitting symbol for the state. The bird’s adaptability to various habitats and frequent appearances in gardens and feeders also contributed to its widespread popularity among the public.

The campaign culminated in a vote, and in 1951, the American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) was officially designated as the state bird of Washington. This designation celebrated the bird’s beauty and presence in the state while highlighting the importance of preserving Washington’s natural environment. Today, the American Goldfinch continues to be a cherished symbol of the state, representing both the natural beauty and the commitment to conservation among Washington's residents.

23 years to decide on a State bird? I lingered several minutes enjoying this particular American Goldfinch on this lazy 4th of July. It is a great way for me to enjoy this first day of my summer sabatical.

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