Male Hatchling

Male Hatchling
Name: unnamed
Species: Assassin Bird
Birthday: Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Owner: Tyriagris

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These small birds hatch from eggs no larger than a raisin, though they are grown within a few short weeks. The female lays only two eggs each season, for they require a considerable amount of spare energy to produce, and the chicks are raised by the female alone. They are quick learners and once their wing muscles are suitably developed, they depart their nest within hours of beginning to fly. With some considerable effort, the adult birds can be trained, and they will trust in their human companion once fledged, if raised in captivity. Juvenile birds still confined to the nest, however, have little mind of anything aside from their next meal.

Small enough to fit in the palm of one hand, few would ever suspect these birds of the grim powers they possess. It is precisely because of their unassuming nature that these shimmering creatures are favored companions of many cutthroats and assassins, as their common name implies. Unlike other hummingbirds, assassin birds fly nearly silent, and during the night, when most other birds of the forest are asleep. Their feeding is quite different as well; like vampire bats, assassin birds feed on the blood of slumbering animals, piercing a small vein with their sharp little bills and lapping up the blood that trickles out. Their beaks are coated in an oil which keeps their victims asleep through the process, one of several reasons they are well suited to aiding stealthy criminals. The other reason revolves largely around the birds’ magnificent tails, which bear long paired feathers, especially on the males. The sounds made by these birds can at best confuse, at worst instill utter terror into any unsuspecting victim. Fed plenty of high-energy blood and kept warm, a trained assassin bird is an invaluable tool for a secretive nighttime criminal. Because they are not inherently dangerous, the Keep does not ban their breeding outsize of Tetzcotal, though they do keep a registry of owners of these birds.

Sprite art: Tekla | Description: PKGriffin