American Goldfinch

The state bird of New Jersey.

I was about to leave Mercer Meadows when out of the corner of my eye I saw something hopping around in the grass just a few metres from my feet. Without knowing what it was, I snapped a few photographs. I later learned that this bird is the American Goldfinch, the state bird of New Jersey.

The American Goldfinch is a small bird native to North America. Adult males sport striking yellow feathers with black caps and wings, while females and juveniles have more subdued olive-brown plumage. They are granivorous (seed-eating), particularly liking thistle seeds. Unlike many birds, they breed in late summer to coincide with the abundance of seeds in their environment. Their melodious songs add a distinctive soundtrack to woodlands and gardens across their range.