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.
The name of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks doesn't have anything to do with the Ring-necked Duck or any other actual waterfowl species. But I selected this photo because Ring-necked Ducks can be seen in southern California in winter, and this is a great shot of a male and female. The team was named the Mighty Ducks by Disney, after its movie of the same name starring Emilio Estevez. In 2005, the new owners shortened the name simply to Ducks. Photo by David Mundy