|Official Name||Sea Pidaleer|
|Common Nicknames||Colony Bird|
|Habitat||Coastlines and oceans across southern Aloria|
Sea Pidaleers are ancient denizens of the skies in and around the oceans and seas of Aloria. Known to the Altalar as birds of knowledge and deep thought since the dawn of their existence, such superstitions have since blended with more than a dozen others found in the beliefs of several other Races and Cultures. To those more focused on facts, the birds are still remarkable, mating for life and gliding across the seas of Aloria, somehow knowing how to return home every two years to meet their mate. Their colonies look like snow-covered islands and headlands when these birds come home to roost, and many on the coast look to their presence as reassurance that the world is normal and will ultimately be okay.
The Sea Pidaleer finds its origins in the stories of the Altalar. Ancient texts of that Race mention the bird in relation to Sca’Elle. It is said that when he traveled by the sea and visited his relative Tal'Sieth, all birds ignored him save the Sea Pidaleer. It instead came near to him and sought to examine his work. For this reason, since the dawn of the Allorn Empire, the bird has been associated with knowledge among the Altalar. Centuries later, other Races also contributed to the perception of the bird, or rather, various perceptions. Among the Ceardian Ailor they were seen as the souls of the drowned, while among the Qadir they were used to represent travelers from far away. In truth, this last one was the closest to this bird’s true nature, due to their astonishing travels from one end of Aloria to the other. Following the Cataclysm and the birth of the Altalar Types, even more ideas were associated with the bird. The Fin’ullen claimed him as their own, due to its ties to the sea, and as the Regalian Empire rose to prominence, Ailor sailors came into contact with these other foreign ideas. As a result, there are now numerous superstitions and beliefs about the bird that stem from all manners of Culture and Race background. The bird is so populous that the Bone Horror Crisis, while it dented the animal’s population, did not largely affect them, and Sea Pidaleers are likely to remain flying for many years to come.
Sea Pidaleers are large birds, capable of reaching heights of three to four feet, wingspans of eight to eleven feet and weights of around twenty pounds. Their head features a long, thick, pale-pink hooked beak and two small black eyes. Their neck is of a medium length, and connects to a delicate body, with two long and narrow wings. It would appear that the bird, unlike most other species, lacks flapping power. As a result, it instead coasts on the wind for hours, perhaps even days at a time, as it roams Aloria. Their body ends in rounded tail feathers. Their bodies are largely covered in white feathers, but the tips of their wings have black colored feathers, and their head usually has some dark lining when they are younger. As they age, these black feathers turn white, and the bird’s upper body will become a pristine white.
Sea Pidaleers are generally equal in gender numbers, while there are no physical differences between the sexes. . Furthermore, appearance is dependent on age, though it has been noted that the dark patterns of parents sometimes appear on their children.
Life Span and Development
Sea Pidaleers are born in highly ovular light grey eggs, in clutches of two to six. They are then raised by both parents, as Sea Pidaleers mate for life. Chicks emerge with grey feathers that remain for their first several weeks, which are preened and kept clean first by their parents and ultimately by themselves. Over these opening months, the chick gradually develops into a fledgling, which it remains as for almost a year. After that, it is considered an adult and it will have learned all it could from its parents, so it departs. Over their second year, they fully mature physically, reaching their adult size which makes them capable of reproducing. They have remarkably long lifespans, capable of living up to fifty years.
Sea Pidaleers are unique birds, not because they are actually seekers of knowledge or are interested in the work of others like the Altalar sometimes believe, but because of a complex mental state. These birds mate for life and to make that possible, there are a number of complicated steps. Mates must be selected that are perfectly suitable, and the mating season of the Sea Pidaleer sees many of their colony islands or settled lands teem with young members of the species mingling and engaging themselves in this work. They caw, squak and move their body in any number of ways to attract, then focus on, and ultimately hopefully consummate an attraction to one mate that they will have for life. Pidaleers will then leave their mate, and move where the currents take them for two whole years before they then return to spend time with their partner. If eggs are had, the couple settles down to raise the chicks and once they have matured, the birds will again go their separate ways. How this is all possible is unknown, even to Altalar scholars who have dismissed the superstitious ways of sailors and have studied the birds for years on end. Beyond these fascinating features, the animal appears fairly simple, feeding on various sea creatures from fish to squid, to even the odd bit of carrion when they require it, and at all other times, they seek to be in the air and to glide across the world.
Territory and Groupings
Sea Pidaleers form what are called colonies, where they as a species will flock and take over a barren or minor island, or on headlands thrust out into the sea. In these colonies, flocks will be born, mate, leave and then return every two years to begin the cycle over again, with the occasional interruption of laying and caring for eggs and their children that emerge for a year. As a result, the colony is often always inhabited by some members of the flock, and the bird is known to form small groups with other members of its species when out in the wild in a loose flock that will break at a moment’s notice, or when the time comes for them to return to their colonies. Sea Pidaleers appear around the warm parts of Aloria, being found across the waters around Daen, Corontium, Hadaria, Oldt Era and areas of Farah’deen and southern Essalonia.
- The most well known Sea Pidaleer colony can be found near Üntannall-Pröpole in Teled Methen, the city considered to be the capital of the Fin’ullen Altalar community. This colony, known to the local Altalar as Estel’s Colony, has existed for some 900 years and populates headlands in and around the massive Estel Enlightening statue that dominates the area.
- Sea Pidaleers have unique colony members called “watchers,” birds whose mates never returned one year and so they endlessly wait in the colony for a return that is unlikely to ever come. They have become a major figure in romantic literature of the Daendroque, Bragacao and Tolonne Ailor, in addition to that of the coastal Qadir Hadrityas and some areas of Maritime Altalar dominance.