Thursday, March 18, 2010
Goldfinch and willow
The willows at the north end of Golden Gardens were full of trilling American goldfinches,the state bird of Washington, Iowa and New Jersey. It ties with the robin (Connecticut, Michigan, Wisconsin) for the fourth most popular state bird, coming in behind the Mockingbird (Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas), the Western Meadowlark (Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, Wyoming), and the grand champion state bird, the cardinal. (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia.)
I'd prefer if each state would have a bird to itself. There are 888 species to choose from in the country, after all. So, let's give the goldfinch to New Jersey, let Iowa take the indigo bunting or something, and find another bird for Washington. My first pick would be a corvid. British Columbia has the Steller's Jay, so I consider that taken, but the raven is up for grabs.
Still, even the most playful raven isn't as endearing as these fluffy yellow things trilling in the pussy-willows.
And for more morning cheer: brant in the waves.