The New Jersey State Bird – Everything You Should Know About The American Goldfinch, Plus Some

From flags to flowers, each of the 50 states in the United States has many official symbols.

In addition to these state symbols, many states have a state animal, a state motto, and a state bird. New Jersey is one of three states that boast the American Goldfinch as its state bird.

Below you’ll find everything that you need to know about the New Jersey State bird. Beyond that, you’ll learn more about other symbols that stand for New Jersey.


American Goldfinch Fun Facts

The American Goldfinch, also known as the Eastern Goldfinch, was adopted as the New Jersey state bird in 1935.

In addition to being called the American Goldfinch and the Eastern Goldfinch, the New Jersey State Bird goes by other names, too

Some people call the Eastern Goldfinch by its scientific name, which is the eastern goldfinch carduelis tristis.

Others know the New Jersey state bird as the willow goldfinch or the wild canary.

As previously mentioned, New Jersey is one of three states that has named the American Goldfinch as its official state bird. The Eastern Goldfinch Carduelis Tristis is the official state bird of Washington, as well as Iowa.

The male eastern goldfinch carduelis tristis is a bright yellow bird with black wings, a black tail, a black forehead, and white markings on and under the wings. The female eastern goldfinch Carduelis tristis is not nearly as bright as its male counterpart.

The females tend to be more of drab olive-yellow color, with black and white striped wings and tail.

In the winter and non-breeding months, the male eastern goldfinch will molt and change colors, which makes them harder to distinguish from the females.

The male and female eastern goldfinch grow to be anywhere between four and five inches in length.

When nesting, the females typically lay between four and six eggs. Occasionally, the female carduelis tristis can lay as few as two or as many as seven eggs.

Once the goldfinch carduelis nestlings hatch, both the male and female parents work to feed the baby birds. The young bird leaves the nest between two to three weeks after they have hatched.

Unfortunately, climate change has affected the goldfinch carduelis tristis’ habitat. These birds have been moving further and further north.

Heatwaves in the spring and summer can cause a decrease in the number of young produced. Severe wind and rainstorms are also harmful to this popular state bird.

Out of the three states that the New Jersey state bird calls home, Washington state is the only state where the bird is thriving.

In fact, the state bird of Washington is the only state where this particular state bird population is improving.


Beyond The American Goldfinch

The state of New Jersey doesn’t just boast a beautiful yellow bird as its state bird. It also has a bright yellow state flag.

The New Jersey state flag features the New Jersey state coat of arms.

Symbols on the NJ flag include plows, a helmet and shield, horse head crest, two females, and a banner. Each of these symbols has a very specific meaning and reason for being on the flag of New Jersey.

  • Three plows represent the strong agricultural industry of the community.
  • A forward-facing helmet above a blue shield stands for sovereignty.
  • The horse head crest is a nod to the official New Jersey state animal, the horse.
  • On either side of the shield are two females. Liberty and Ceres. Ceres is a symbol that denotes agricultural abundance, specifically for grain. Liberty holds produce.
  • All of these symbols sit atop a banner that reads the New Jersey State motto, “Liberty and Prosperity.” The banner also reads 1776, which is the year that New Jersey became the third state added to the United States.

New Jersey State Symbols

To recap, the New Jersey state bird is the American Goldfinch and is also known as the eastern carduelis tristis.

The flag features five main symbols. These symbols include the state animal, a horse, a helmet and shield, two females, all pictured above a banner.

Additionally, the flag for New Jersey reads “Liberty and Prosperity.”

You may know that the state of New Jersey is known as the “Garden State,” but the state motto has more to do with agriculture than what we think of in terms of modern-day gardening.

The motto for New Jersey state is “Liberty and Prosperity.” The New Jersey state motto was added in 1777, just one year after New Jersey gained statehood.