|Bright-Birds, Talking Birds
|Tropical islands of Westwynd
Solacian Sunbirds are highly colorful and cheery birds native to tropical Westwynd, though they are most populous on Solacil itself and other nearby members of the Silerian Chain. The bird is also domesticated in large numbers, and a favorite bird of the merchant class because of their colorful appearance and relatively low cost as an “exotic” pet. The birds are also well known for being able to mimic the speech of other animals and the people they encounter, though only for short bursts, as the bird lacks complex thought functions.
The Solacian Sunbird was known to the Allorn Empire, but it appears to have been dismissed as a minor feature of the region and a pale imitation of the exotic and larger birds the Elves had back on the mainland. As a result, it escaped any form of civilized hunting or pursuit for years. In the wake of the Ailor slaves freeing themselves, the bird was pursued for a time as a source of meat by some of the most desperate. While this practice largely ceased in other areas, Arvosil's huge population of poor, subsistence-level workers kept up their hunting of the bright and easy to spot animal. Eventually, it was the Ailor of Solacil who determined that the bird could also be domesticated, whereupon they did so, and many proceeded to take the bird in their travels across Aloria. The animal became well known to traders, and it has remained a favorite pet of the merchant class for its simple beauty and ability to occasionally mimic a word or two of what it hears. Today, the bird is populous in the wild except on Arvosil, where it has been hunted to near extinction, but also populous in domesticated surroundings. A great many more are not domesticated but are habituated to the presence of Aloria's various peoples, resulting in flocks of the birds also thriving in the more urban areas of the Silerian Chain.
The Solacian Sunbird is a highly colorful, medium-sized bird, with a wingspan of three to four feet, a length of two and a half to three feet, and a weight of two to three pounds. Their heads are dominated by a large black hooked beak and pale white skin that surrounds it. Two small nostrils sit above the large beak before a pair of small eyes, which are capable of being yellow, green or amber in coloration. A series of thin black lines divide the space between the beak and the eyes and are turned downward, where they connect to a patch of black feathers that rings the lower face and covers the neck. The bird’s neck is multi-colored, with a small tiff of green feathering at the crown of their head before possessing a sleek back and top covering of their wings in a bright, cyan blue. The bird’s entire underside though is bright yellow, and due to such a stark color combination, the bird is often associated with the sun resting in a bright blue sky. The bird’s body ends in a grouping of long tail feathers, and it is supported by a pair of large, black-taloned feet.
Solacian Sunbirds are uniform in appearance between their two genders and their population numbers are equal.
Life Span and Development
Solacian Sunbirds are born in pale green eggs speckled with pure white marks at the top of the egg, and in groups of two to six. When they are born, they are some of the most vulnerate chicks in Aloria, lacking all covering and instead staying as a fleshy pink for over three weeks. After four weeks, they begin to develop their down, and over the course of six months physically mature to adulthood. An additional six months, totaling a year, will see their minds catch up fully to their bodies, at which time the new adults will leave the nest and join the wider flock, finding mates of their own eventually. Solacian Sunbirds are remarkably long-lived for a bird species, living some 30 to 45 years in the wild, and up to 50 in domesticated surroundings.
Solcian Sunbirds are unique birds for a number of reasons. For one, they mate for life, and often intensely. Some Solacian Sunbirds have been known to grow depressed if their mate dies, requiring more care and attention in domesticated surroundings, or ideally a friend. They will rarely mate again though, unless the death of their spouse was very early into their relationship. The bird is also well known for possessing the ability of mimicry. Unlike most other creatures capable of this, the bird is not infested or affected by some magical energy, but it is instead a highly developed natural skill. As a result, the bird can learn a small grouping of words, or at the very most a sentence, which it will repeat when prompted by surroundings or by its trainer.
Territory and Groupings
Solacian Sunbird flocks number anywhere from two dozen to over 100. Flocks will often keep their nests and perches all in the same location, and leave the area in the early morning to roam their surroundings in the search for food and more before returning to these sites for sleep and to tend to their chicks, which are looked after by Sunbird mothers. In domesticated surroundings, most recommend the purchase of two of such birds, merely to keep each other company, but some offer cages of up to five of them to those interested in keeping the bird as a pet.
- Solacian Sunbirds and Tree Monkeys do not get along well, the birds often picking the simian up by the tail and seeking to drop them from a short height, while the monkey seeks to pluck out the bird’s long tailfeathers.