Pro sports teams named for birds

It’s Opening Day for Major League Baseball, so we’re marking the occasion with a fun gallery of photos of the birds commemorated by North American professional sports teams. It would be a pretty brief gallery if we stuck to baseball, since only three MLB teams qualify for this list. So we’re also recognizing teams from the NFL, NBA, and NHL — 11 species in all that inspired the names of 12 teams. The photos are from our Reader Galleries

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

When the NBA's original Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2013, they adopted the Pelicans as their name to reflect the region's culture and community. "The Pelican does that," said owner Tom Benson. "Our region has been hard hit in recent years, and the one thing that stands out is the resiliency and determination to come back, to fight and overcome. The Pelican symbolizes that." He was referring, of course, to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil crisis. Photo by Gary Miller

Related: The home of the Milwaukee Bucks is the world’s first bird-friendly arena

Originally Published

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and He joined the staff of BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) in 2000 and has worn many hats over the years: reporter, story wrangler, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor. Originally from Omaha, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee and holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. You can reach Matt at (617) 706-9098 and [email protected].

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