American Goldfinch: The State Bird of New Jersey
The American Goldfinch is the New Jersey State Bird, and one of our most beloved. The beautiful yellow and black male and the somewhat duller female keep their breeding plumage until October. The winter plumage is drab gray with touches of yellow. They always have well-defined dark wings with white wing bars. It nests late—in July and August.
Migration: Goldfinches are in New Jersey all year long, although they do migrate. The birds that summer with us generally migrate from the southern US in the Spring. By contrast, our winter Goldfinches are actually birds from the north that migrate to our area in the Fall. Spring migration is from late March through May, and Fall migration is from September to late November.
Fun Facts: Female American Goldfinches prefer the males with the brightest color. Bight colors indicate healthy birds who find the best food sources. However, females are not always faithful. One study found that 30% of nests have young from multiple fathers. And when the nestlings are about 2 weeks old, the female may abandon them, leaving her mate to raise them while she starts a second brood with another male.
Learn more about the American Goldfinch