Wingspan Migrating Birds

Using Migrating Birds in Wingspan Board Game - Wingspan Strategy

In this article, I’d like to talk about a group of birds that have a rather unique and interesting brown power. Often referred to as “Wingspan migrating birds,” these Wingspan cards can change their habitat once played.

The migrating bird’s ability to improve habitat actions can be pretty valuable in jumpstarting your early game and giving you an edge over your opponents. This is especially true when they migrate from column one of a habitat to column two, giving you access to the column three action while bypassing the egg cost of playing a bird into column two.

These birds give you more control over end-of-round bonuses (birds in X habitat, eggs in X habitat). Because they have more freedom and flexibility in the early game, the birds that cost three food tend to be less impactful, especially since they don’t have any other notable qualities to make that cost worth it.

The Best Examples of Wingspan Migrating Birds Include:

Wingspan Migrating Bird - Chimney Swift CardChimney Swift Migrating Bird Card:

  • Two worms
  • Star nest
  • Qualifies for five bonus cards
  • Affects 30/35 round bonuses




Using Wingspan Migrating Birds - Song Sparrow CardSong Sparrow Migrating Bird Card:

  • Either one worm, one wheat, or one cherry
  • Five egg nest capacity
  • Qualifies for seven bonus cards
  • Affects 19/35 round bonuses




How to Use Wingspan Migrating Birds - The White Crowned Sparrow CardWhite-Crowned Sparrow Migrating Bird Card:

  • One worm plus one wheat
  • Five egg nest capacity
  • Qualifies for eight bonus cards
  • Affects 19/35 round bonuses




These three cards stand out from their peers, and I usually consider using them when I see them early, with Song Sparrow being my top pick for its cheap cost and large egg capacity. I’ve had several games where I was happy to start with one of these birds.

The only times that I can recall playing the three cost migrators were on the Steam version of Wingspan, and that was just to unlock the achievement, “A Real Know-It-Owl.”

Optimal Turn Order and Planning Ahead with Migrating Bird Cards

The two things that you need to understand the most when using these birds are when to block them in (shutting off their power for the rest of the game) and when to migrate them. This requires planning a bit further ahead than usual.

Setting up optimal turn orders is key to using these birds effectively. Several factors such as the timing of activating a particular habitat in order to migrate, the timing of playing another bird, and the timing of round bonuses are all vying for consideration.

Once the Migrating birds are blocked in, their other qualities become much more important (nest size/type, VP total, goal/bonus card qualifications). This is where the standouts mentioned above really distinguish themselves from other birds with this power.

Here’s a video showcasing what one of the Wingspan migrating birds, the Song Sparrow, can do for you when used early in the game:





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