Readers’ wildlife photos

August 28, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today is Sunday, and that means a themed batch of bird photos by John Avise. John’s captions and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Avian Poker

Every poker player knows the hierarchy of winning hands in five-card-draw. This week’s post (which admittedly is a bit whimsical) shows an avian analogue of this poker hierarchy: One pair; Two-pairs; Three-of-a-kind; Straight; Flush; Full-house; Four-of-a-kind; Straight-flush; and Royal-flush.  Here I‘ve illustrated these kinds of poker hands mostly using waterfowl (ducks and geese), although this wasn’t possible in every case.  All of these photographs were taken in Southern California.

One-pair; Canada Geese (Branta canadensis):

One-pair; drakes; Northern Pintail (Anas acuta):

Two-pairs; hens and drakes; Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca):

Two-pairs; hens and drakes; Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera):

Three-of-a-kind; Canada Geese:

Three-of-a-kind; teenager Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos):

Straight, hen-high; Mallards:

Straight; Canada Geese:

Flush; American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos):

Flush; White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi):

Full-house, Canada Geese (two adults and three goslings):

Full-house; three drakes and two hens; Cinnamon Teal:

Full-house; three drakes and two hens; Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola):

Four-of-a-kind; American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos):

Four-of-a-kind; drake Buffleheads:

Straight Flush; Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata):

Royal Flush; Royal Terns (Sterna maxima):

10 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Great photos and cool concept.

    That hierarchy of hands holds true for all forms of poker, draw or stud, and any variation thereof — including games with common cards, like Texas Hold ‘Em — the only exception being games that involve “wild cards.”

  2. Very clever, thanks!

    Even more difficult may have been to include a “garbage” hand of five totally unrelated birds in the same shot!

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