Wingspan is an excellent board game in many regards. It is a very well-designed engine-building game that has the right balance of fun and difficulty. It is also a very satisfying game to play once gamers get tehir bird engines up and running. Of course, the game’s popularity is due in no small part to its beautiful artwork.
Instead of different characters, each of Wingspan‘s cards depicts a different species of bird. The birds are portrayed in beautiful photo-realistic paintings done by the game’s illustrators Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, and Beth Sobel. While each card is great to look at in its own way, some birds stand out as prettier than the rest.
10/10 Mountain Bluebirds Are A Beautiful Array Of Blues
The Mountain Bluebird is covered in a beautiful gradient of blue colors. The Wingspan card that it is depicted on chose the perfect angle to show off the full range of this bird’s colors. While this bird would likely blend into a blue sky, it pops nicely out from its card’s beige background.
Wingspan‘s Mountain Bluebird is also captured in a great action shot. A small insect is visible in its mouth, and the bird’s trajectory evokes images of it flying away from a successful catch to go swallow its prey. Bringing animals to life is one of art’s highest aspirations and this card succeeds magnificently.
9/10 Northern Cardinals Bring Color To The Drabbest Days
Plenty of U.S. states choose the Northern Cardinal as their state bird, and it’s easy to see why. Its vibrant red coloring makes the bird stand out. Its pointed head feathers and signature black mask also makes it a very distinct bird. During the winter, Cardinals are some of the only bits of color present in parts of the U.S., making them a welcome sight for anyone stuck in a drab winter.
Wingspan‘s Northern Cardinal card does a great job capturing the cardinal’s look. Placing it on a branch with tiny red flowers also is a nice touch that adds a lot to the painting. Cardinals are named for their resemblance to the crimson-clad Princes of the Catholic Church, and here they come across as appropriate regal.
8/10 Violet-Green Swallows Have Great Contrast
The Violet-Green Swallow is a very pretty bird. Its green dorsal feathers are nicely complemented by the white and black features, putting all of its colors nicely on display. Up close, these swallows are even more gorgeous, as hints of blue can be seen highlighting their green feathers, and a touch of violet peeks out on their back from between their wings.
In Wingspan, the Violet-Green Swallow card does a great job of capturing the range of colors present on the real bird. Thanks to the way the piece is composed, all the bird’s various feathers are on full display.
7/10 Indigo Buntings Are Vibrant With Natural Low-Lights
Indigo Buntings are some of the prettiest birds featured in Wingspan. They range from dark to light shades of blue, and their black accents show off the intricate layers of feathers that make up their wings.
Wingspan‘s Indigo Bunting went with one of the more vibrant shades of blue that real-life Buntings can be. The card artist also made sure to put the bird’s wing feathers on full display to show the cool layered effect that its black and white wing feathers create. It’s clear that Wingspan‘s designers paid close attention to what makes these birds so pretty to look at.
6/10 Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers Have A Unique Look
It’s no real surprise that the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher is one of the prettiest pieces of artwork included in Wingspan. After all, it is the bird that the designers chose to put on the cover of the box to advertise the game.
The Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher is a very unique-looking bird, and its wonderfully odd look is captured perfectly in Wingspan‘s depiction of it. When sitting on a branch, these birds look like indistinct sparrow-sized avians. However, their true beauty comes out when they fly. Their tails fan out behind them, earning them their name, and their vibrant orange under-wing feathers add a splash of color and perfectly frame their bodies. With their legs tucked in they look almost like a cross between a bird and a butterfly.
5/10 Western Tanagers Have Unique Facial Feathers
What makes a Western Tanager so cute is the little splash of red around its beak. This adds so much personality to the little bird, making it look embarrassed, or angry, or like a Goldfinch with a bad sunburn.
Even without their little red faces, Western Tanagers are very pretty birds. Their bright yellow feathers stand in sharp contrast to their pitch-black ones, making them very interesting to look at. Wingspan does a great job capturing everything that makes Western Tanagers so pretty.
4/10 Anna’s Hummingbird Is An Iconic Species
Anna’s Hummingbird is one of Wingspan‘s most iconic bird species. Their brilliant coloring has inspired many an artist to paint them, making them one of the first birds people think of when they think of hummingbirds. While most often depicted in with their green and pink feathers, these birds actually come in a variety of colors, something Wingspan captures well.
Some Anna’s Hummingbirds have a division of blue and yellow feathers instead of green, like the one seen on Wingspan‘s card. This helps Wingspan‘s depiction of the bird stand out from other artists’ interpretations of it. The card also does a great job of capturing the pretty and vibrant colors the bird is known for.
3/10 Eastern Bluebirds Have A Pleasant Palette
The Eastern Bluebird has a very pretty color scheme. Its orange-pink breast contrasts nicely with its light blue feathers, and its white underbelly serves as a natural highlight. Bluebirds are also a sign of joy and hope, which makes bird watchers even more excited to see them.
Wingspan did a good job capturing both the Eastern Bluebird’s colors and its poise. Eastern Bluebirds range in the exact shades of their colors, and the bird on the card has one of the softer palettes. This helps soften the way the orange and blue feathers clash while still retaining a nice contrast effect.
2/10 Baltimore Orioles Have A Gorgeous Mix Of Colors
The Baltimore Oriole might not be as flashy as some other birds, but its colors work so nicely together it deserves to be considered one of the prettiest. Its vibrant orange breast grows lighter as it travels down its body, making the small bird seem like a living flame.
Wingspan‘s depiction of a Baltimore Oriole does a great job of capturing its gradient feather pattern. The Oriole’s white beak and wing feathers also stick out nicely from its black feathers, and its black and white features make its orange breast stick out even more.
1/10 Painted Buntings Are Prettier Than They Should Be
Painted Buntings are some of the prettiest birds in North America. Though they are built like a common finch, they have the same vibrant colors as a tropical parrot. Many Painted Buntings also have a bright red circle around their eyes giving them a unique look.
The Painted Bunting Wingspan card does a great job displaying the many different colors the birds are known for. Just like in nature, the eclectic mix of colors shouldn’t work so well together but somehow they do, resulting in one of the prettiest birds and the prettiest card in all of Wingspan.
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