Waldmarker Black Hawk
|Waldmarker Black Hawk|
|Official Name||Waldmarker Black Hawk|
|Common Nicknames||Black Quill, Holz Hawk, Wald Hawk|
|Habitat||Waldmark, Regalian Archipelago|
At first glance, the Waldmarker Black Hawks, a carnivorous bird species native to Waldmark, are seen as the ultimate bird of prey within their region. Said bird is a common sight within the Drachenwald Forest using the deep canopy to hunt during the day. They can be described as elongated birds with a shiny black coat of bristle feathers, having a grey angular shaped patch of feathering on their lower panel. The bird had been chased out of the Calderwald Forest by the Crow Eagle; the Black Hawks soon found a new area to take over considering the lack of bird prey within the Waldmark region. They are a common predator in the various Waldmark forests, being discreet hunters that are often used by generals or scouts in war due to their ferocity and speed.
The Waldmarker Black Hawk was originally found within Calderwald Forest centuries ago, some even say it existed within the forests before the first recording of the hawk. First publicly recorded by a hunting expedition in 198 AC, the band of hunters witnessed this cunning bird swiftly snatch a common rabbit from the ground in a matter of seconds before rising back to the treetops to eat its catch. The bird was eventually called ‘Holzfalken’ or, in Common tongue, ‘Wood Hawk’, until officially changed to the Waldmarker Black Hawk in 307AC by the Regalian government due to its sudden change by sanctioned surveyors that studied the species change to living within the heart of the Drachenwald Forest, noting the bird’s keen residence in this region. Many of the surveyors stated that the drastic change in their habitat was due to other predatory birds within Calderwald Forest that caused a migration to a new forest without a top predator bird in the area. In recent years, the Waldmarker Black Hawk now dominates the Drachenwald forest as the forest's main bird of prey, keeping the local rabbit and smaller bird populations under control. Along with their change of scenery, many locals have taken to using the Black Hawks to gain an upper hand in military escapades along with sending messages between troop movements quicker with this hawk being used in recent war efforts.
The Waldmarker Black Hawks are typically smaller compared to other predatory birds that litter the neighboring regions with the largest recorded wingspan of three feet total and their bodies being around twenty inches in length with their shortest being around sixteen inches with a wingspan of two feet. Weight-wise these hawks are on the lighter size providing them faster diving speeds, with them being around three pounds at the heaviest and being one and a half pounds at the lightest depending on gender and age. The bird has a sharp, curved, and dark-colored beak that is used to tear up its prey with ease, their eyes are known for the keen sight they grant the bird which is able to not only discern what's on the horizon but also the ultraviolet association of the assorted spectrum. Not only does it have good eyesight but also decent hearing to go with it to be able to catch the prey within the darkened forests they call home. The wings of the bird are long and angular in shape, used as a means to gain accelerated air velocity in order to fold its wings into its body just before extending them back outwardly to slow down for a specific target. They have a distinct color pattern being stark black in color with their feathers bristled and shiny like in appearance along with a notable mustache appearance on its face near its beak.
Typically, it is difficult to tell the difference between male and female Waldmarker Black Hawks besides how big the bird is. Females of the species tend to be notably larger in size, typically nearly a foot in wingspan different and five to six-inch difference in body size. It’s difficult to tell from far away, but upon closer inspection people can see the difference between the male and females facial structures and feather coordination. Males typically have the mustache-like appearance of feathers around their beak while females have a sharper and slender beak in comparison. One of the more obvious differences between genders of the bird is the female’s slightly lighter, bluer coloration of their feathers as opposed to the pitch black of the males.
Life Span and Development
Females develop and lay up to three cream-colored eggs, with faint dark spots on them. It takes them up to thirty-five days to hatch, during this time they are watched mostly by their fathers within their nestings as the mother hunts for prey. Once hatched, these young fledglings, which look much akin to large balls of pale-colored feathers that slowly darken and smooth over time, are fed by their parents. These young fledglings leave the nest after six weeks of development of bone, muscle, and feather growth which at this point look more of a dark brown color with lighter feathers around the face. While the young Black Hawk grows, it's typically taught how to fly by the male parent while the female teaches the young how to hunt when the fledglings are old enough to begin leaving the nest for trips. When they reach the age of two years old, they have reached sexual maturity and have fully darkened in color to the notable black feathers they are identified by. The process of mating between these birds is an intense process, where males compete to express themselves as the best dancer, flying about tree limbs with great speed, jutting their wings rhythmically. Once the female has chosen their preferred mate, they build a nest upon the high limbs of trees before beginning the mating process. Typically Waldmarker Black Hawks mate for life, but for the females, it's slightly different. If a mating partner is to die, the female would search for a new one, respectively. Normally, as long as it's the same pair, they would return to the same nest year after year to raise their young during each nesting season. In the wild, the Waldmarker Black Hawk can live up to twenty-five years old at least while the oldest recorded Black Hawk being around thirty years old when not bonded with a Drahl Ailor.
The Waldmarker Black Hawk is almost inherently wild, often engaging those coming too close to it with hostility. Rarely has there been an occasion of this hawk being tamed from the wild, given its prone aggression to unwelcome visitors; though they can be domesticated. Most of the time when Waldmarker Black Hawks are raised in captivity from egg to adult, they bond with one person and usually never work with another unless explicitly trained to or raised around more than one person handling it. This bird is usually born and bred to be used during military campaigns and among scouting circles for quick ways of delivering letters or used to help hunt small game with hunters. It’s an uncommon bird to be used in falconry, however, it is popular amongst New-Regalians due to their military upbringing. Most Waldmarker Black Hawks are hostile to all other species but their own, though if one is to keep their respective distance, the bird will have no intention of acting with aggression. However, within captivity it is extremely protective of its owner and, usually, doesn’t allow other birds near it unless raised with it as a nestmate.
Territory and Groupings
The Waldmarker Black Hawk is commonplace to Drachenwald forests which houses several nests of various Black Hawks, often their shrill callings can be heard from the echoes of the upper forestry. These birds are immensely territorial when it comes to the domain which surrounds their nest, even in terms of their own species. They often give off a warning shriek from their bills as a means to scare off unwanted visitors before making an attack. More often than not, the Waldmarker Black Hawk hunts alone; though after taking on a mate, these birds often work in cooperation to capture prey. In this cooperation, the male intently chases the prey, keeping the animal focused on it as the female propels itself from another angle in an attempt to catch the prey off guard.
- The Waldmarker Black Hawk has been often depicted in naturalistic paintings, due to their unique derivation to the lush green forests of the high trees.
- Some brave poachers hunt these aggressive birds for their long sharp talons, used in jewelry or decoration of certain cloths. They make for a considerable cost, given how most hunters avoid these hawks as a result of their fast, hostile proclivity.
- The feathers of these violent birds are usually prized for becoming feathered pens for many of the people within Waldmark.