2014 49¢ American Goldfinch
The American goldfinch is one of 10 different birds pictured on the Songbird stamps.
At times called the “wild canary,” the American goldfinch is one of the more common and most recognized songbirds in North America. Its habitat spreads throughout the United States and Canada as well as Mexico in the winter. A social bird, this finch can often be seen foraging in flocks in fields or at backyard birdfeeders.
The male is especially easy to identify with his bright lemon-yellow body feathers contrasted against his jet-black cap. Like other birds, the male takes on his brilliant plumage in the spring, the standard start of breeding season. However, this tiny songbird does not actually begin breeding until late summer.
The American goldfinch is among the very few vegetarian songbirds, eating neither bugs nor berries. Its diet consists almost exclusively of seeds. Since it cannot supplement its breeding-season diet with insects, this finch must wait to build its nest later in summer when seeds become available.
With sweet songs and a striking appearance, it is no wonder that this finch is the official state bird of three states. In Washington State in particular, it even beat out the ever-popular western meadowlark for the title. After 23 years of debate over which bird better represented the state, the American goldfinch was officially named Washington’s state bird in 1951.
Illustrator Robert Giusti painted the American goldfinch and other songbirds in this set perched on a branch or fence post. His artwork can be seen on other stamps including: Tufted Puffins (#4737), Birds of Prey (4608-12), and a Cardinal (2480).
49¢ American Goldfinch, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate.
Issue Date: April 5, 2014
City: Dallas TX, at the Trinity River Audubon Center
Printed By: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾