What is the State Bird of Iowa?

The State Bird of IowaIOWA - The American Goldfinch is the official state bird of Iowa.  It is a late nester, with nesting activity occurring between July and August. The male is bright yellow with black on his forehead and white markings on his wings. The female is a duller yellow with olive feathering. The pair makes a nearly identical flight call. The female constructs a cup-shaped plant fibers nest, which may even contain water.

What is the State Bird of Iowa?
Photo: The American Goldfinch

The State Bird of Iowa is the American Goldfinch or Eastern Goldfinch

The idea of choosing a bird for the state first arose during a meeting of the International Ornithologists Union in 1926.  Walter Rosene, the union's president, was one of the people who put forward the idea. He was backed by a committee composed of IOU members who brainstormed lists of five or six species of birds and sent them to school districts throughout the state. This resulted in Bird Day, which is celebrated on March 21.

While the male Eastern Goldfinch is a strikingly bright yellow during mating season, the female plumage is dull olive-brown in the winter. Its short tail and white under tail are visible during flight. The Eastern Goldfinch is the official state bird of Iowa and has been since 1847.

This tiny yellow bird is a common sight in the state and has been named the state bird by the Iowa legislature. It is also the official state bird of Washington and New Jersey. The bird is known for its sexual dichromatism. The breeding male has bright yellow plumage with black markings on its head and tail. The eggs are typically small and 0.6 inches (16 mm) in diameter.