|Official Name||Black Feather|
|Common Nicknames||Bitty Birds, Yellers|
The Black Feather is an undersized songbird that originates from the Regalian Archipelago, and can now be found throughout Corontium. Known for their unique ability to replicate speech, these birds are difficult to spot but are easily heard throughout Regalia. In recent years, they’ve been domesticated and kept as household pets by Ailor children.
The first documented encounter with a Black Feather dates back before the Cataclysm when a girl living in what was then the capital of the Regalian Kingdom came across one of the birds. It was badly wounded and stuck in a thorn bush. Nursing the animal back to health, it became a home-body, fluttering about the house and exclaiming a warped “Wow” upon seeing a familiar face. Over the next decade, the animal slowly grew more popular as a child’s pet and spread further across the Archipelago. The animal’s spread to wider Corontium is attributed to those exiled during the First Schism of Unionism which banished the offending heretics to Etosil. From there, the bird gradually spread out across the other islands through flight or by using ships as nesting grounds. Today the animal is considered a pest, a pet to others and by some scholars, an interesting creature to study.
Black Feathers are commonly identified by their violet-glossed jet black plumage and milky white eyes. These birds have a small frame, reaching three and a half inches in height at adulthood; an average wingspan of six inches; and naturally dull talons. A Black Feather’s chest is disproportionate to the rest of its body, as it expands outwards to further propel its voice. Most times, the animal lets out weak croaks but after observing a certain “subject”, often yells at a pitch similar to their own. This has led to many being startled by the sudden shout of someone apparently in trouble only to find this bird staring back at them.
Black Feathers are matched in number when it comes to gender. Males can be identified by a light grey/white patch of feathers on the chest that is used in mating. Another indicator between the two are the color of their feet, with the males having a lighter grey color as opposed to the females.
Life Span and Development
Black Feathers have an average lifespan of three to four years in the wild, and four to six in captivity. Nests are large and hollow, made of spider webs, twigs, leaves, and down. Both the female and male will incubate the eggs, which tend to hatch within a week of being laid. The mother will shoo the father away at this point, and tend to the chicks for another week before forcing them out. She will then use the nest to roost herself, waiting until breeding season, when males will flock over and the cycle repeats.
Black Feathers feed heavily off of insects and spiders, climbing through shrubs and short trees, gleaning bugs off of foliage. They roost in treetops, though birds in urban centers have been known to build nests in the crooks of roofs. The most fascinating ability of the Black Feather, however, is their ability to recognize human speech and replicate parts of what they hear. This mimicry ability is what makes them a favorite with little children. It also has shaped the means in which the species communicates, with Black Feathers closer to cities sounding akin to a group of frantic men and women, spewing out common phrases when threatened. Despite this, they are wholly docile, tamed easily with enough consistency and patience.
Territory and Groupings
Adult Black Feathers are rarely found in groups, preferring to hunt alone. Preferring their own space, these birds will intimidate any other Black Feathers attempting to settle too close near them. Puffing up their chests, flapping their wings and propelling towards each other, a typical fight between two Black Feathers is a rather comical, harmless fight to any onlookers.
- A Black Feather was rumored to have survived far past their lifespan, inspiring a book titled “Old Yeller”.
- Some believe that eating a Black Feather for dinner every two days will increase their chances of having a child.
- Once tamed, Black Feathers make for affectionate pets, comfortably carried around in one's hands.