Wingspan Strategy: More Ways to Tuck, More Ways to Win

Wingspan Game Strategy - Expanding the Power of Tucking

I’m going to revisit the power of tucking cards in Wingspan. There are a few standout cards that that I didn’t previously cover. They broaden tucking strategies in Wingspan and are worthy of discussion, as they are among the best tucking cards in Wingspan. Several of these fall into the “Other” category due to their nonstandard ways of tucking cards.


This is a solid five-point tucking bird that doesn’t rely on cards in hand as its fuel source. This makes its inability to live in the Wetlands unimportant. It doesn’t actually need a fuel source at all, but it does have an associated drawback that tries to balance out its powerful ability to tuck two cards off the deck.

First, it forces a reset of the birdfeeder. This isn’t a drawback at all. It’s an ability that the game board values at 1 food in of itself and it can benefit everyone at the table which is especially useful in a two-player game where the birdfeeder can end up going stagnant for longer stretches of time.

The real drawback comes from one opponent potentially gaining one wheat from the birdfeeder after the reroll. While it is one of the most common die faces, they may not get one and if they do, they may not be able to use it effectively. Nevertheless, two of any food equals one of any other food and there are plenty of cards that can use wheat as a fuel source. Galah’s impact is lessened if your opponent has one of these “Wheat Eaters” as I refer to them.

An opposing Canada Goose, Sandhill Crane, Whistling Duck, Common Starling, or Crested Pigeon (just to name a few) are the real limiting factor to your Galah.

This card should have made my Top 5 list for the Oceania Expansion and that would mean that the North Island Brown Kiwi would get bumped off the list. Today, I would probably rate Galah as tied for #2 with Noisy Miner. Both of these cards can have a large impact on your game in similar but different ways. Galah has less of a drawback but Noisy Miner scores one more point per activation.

When you’re using a card with a drawback it is critical to find a way to mitigate it if possible. There are two birds that will combo exceptionally well with your Galah and use opposing wheat to create victory points for you. By extension, the Galah creates extra points through these birds.

Australian Zebra Finch

The Australian Zebra Finch is cheap and has a star nest with a three-egg capacity. It’s restricted to the grasslands but that doesn’t hurt its tucking ability as it tucks from the deck, not cards in hand, just like the Galah. It looks at the food supply of the opponent to your right. If they have a wheat, you can tuck a card from the deck behind the Finch. If you have a Gala, choose the player on your right as the recipient of the birdfeeder reroll. If they get wheat, the Zebra Finch will end up tucking a card. You are now scoring 3 points off that wheat instead of two from just the Galah alone.

The Finch isn’t nearly as effective on its own, but it is a bird worthy of note if you have Galah ahead of it in the Grasslands.

Eurasian Jay

This card doesn’t tuck cards and its general qualities aren’t very impressive but if you have a Galah in the Forest, the Eurasian Jay could prove to be valuable. If your opponent gains wheat off of your Galah, you can steal it with the Jay and cache it for VP. Like the Australian Zebra Finch, this bird is turning the Galah’s drawback into a way to score extra VP. Victims of the theft get to replace the wheat with a die from the birdfeeder which could be a drag if you’re playing with nectar.

Crimson Chat

The Crimson Chat is of the same archetype as Canada Goose and Co. Discard food to tuck from the deck. It has a cheap and flexible food cost and is worth a solid 4 points with a two-egg capacity. Not amazing but not horrible for one worm, wheat, or berry. It’s limited to the Grasslands but it can use any food for its ability, unlike other birds in this archetype. The cost of this flexibility is a 50% reduction in effectiveness, only tucking one card as opposed to two, but that reduction makes it much easier to support than its dedicated “Wheat/Fish Eater” counterparts. Outside of the standard Spotted Towhee, Crow, or Raven, cards like Laughing Kookaburra and New Holland Honey Eater make great early game companions for the Crimson Chat. Since all food types can be spent on the Chat’s ability, nectar can be placed on the “Spent Nectar” space of the Grasslands when used.

Rufous Owl

While the Rufous Owl’s general qualities are standard for the archetype, it could be the best “Predator Tucker” in the game. Other birds in this archetype blindly look at the top card of the deck. The Rufous Owl gets to look at the three face-up cards in the bird tray in order to find success. This lets you know when the Owl will be successful. It looks for birds with wingspans less than 75CM which is the second-best cap in this archetype (less than 100CM being the best). I haven’t crunched the numbers, but it could be that Rufous Owl is mathematically the most successful Predatory Tucker in the game. Let me know in the comments below if this is factually true or not.


Budgerigar is cheap, can go in any habitat, and always has a card to tuck. It is a reliable way to score a point each turn. There really is nothing more to say about this bird. Too bad it isn’t worth a couple of points.


The cockatiel is a beefier Budgerigar that requires that you discard a wheat to tuck from the tray. Unlike other “Discard Food to Tuck” birds, Cockatiel can live in the forest and get its wheat from the Gain Food action. It doesn’t need another bird to support it which increases its usefulness.

Eurasian Goldfinch

Eurasian Goldfinch’s pink power lets you piggyback off of your opponent’s tucking strategies. Tucking off the deck is generally better than tucking from your hand as the deck is theoretically infinite. Your hand isn’t. You can set this bird and forget it while improving your board position and letting it harvest a point for your turn after turn. There are only eight birds in the game that are worth six or more points that also hold four or more eggs. This bird is one of them, so it may be worth playing it even if your opponents aren’t tucking, especially if it lines up with a bonus card or round bonus. Just make sure to get some eggs on it.

As an aside, I’ve always thought that this should have been the bird on the front of the box of the European Expansion instead of the Snowy Owl. It just pops.

Greater Flamingo

At first glance, the Greater Flamingo isn’t very impressive, especially for a cost of three food. It doesn’t help that its power is situational and under the control of your opponents. Despite this, I wanted to point out the potential of this bird’s unusual “mass tucking” power to score a lot of points. If you have an opponent that is heavily invested in their Wetlands, the Greater Flamingo can get you a ton of points while allowing you to see a ton of cards. If you’re heavily invested in the Wetlands yourself, you’ll have the card volume to operate the Flamingo in an optimal state. Otherwise, it will inconsistently get you a couple of extra points and cards.

That wraps it up! It will be interesting to see what cool new methods of tucking become available in future expansions. Oceania opened the door to a lot of new possibilities across the board. What are your favorite tucking birds or strategies? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Jack

    Wholeheartedly agree with the analysis of Rufous Owl. I haven’t done any number-crunching by any means, but my anecdotal experience lines up with this being one of the strongest predators there is.

    I also really love when the Galah is in my hand or hits the tray earlier–and that’s before making the EuroJay/ZebraFinch connections, which are really slick. Great suggestion.

    • Thanks for reading, Jack. I overlooked Galah when originally assessing the OE cards. Big mistake on my part. It is one of the 10 best cards in the game, in my opinion.

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