Omen Birds are a large black bird with blood red hooked beak, sharp claws, feather crest, and wingtips. Their eyes are red and black. Omen Birds are their own unique Orders, somewhere between Passeriformes (crows/ ravens) and Accipitriformes (Eagles/ Hawks/ Raptors). They exhibit traits of both. They travel in “plagues” of 20 to 100. While they are effective hunters, they prefer to scavange meals from the kills of others. (Their raptor-esk advantages allowing them to defend their meals from other scavengers). They are quite perceptive and highly intelligent. A Plague will roughly follow an army or militia unit, large carnivores (monsters), and groups of hunters (human or animals). They seem to know these things will provide them carrion. If their scouts find a “food source” for the given group or creature they are following, such as another army/ bands, villages, or food animals, they will often circle or roost near them, as if they were staking out the future kill. They also seem to be quite aware of the world below them, as they will flock towards areas with less water and food, waiting for the weak to die. Their cunning in this regard is quite marked. It shows a level of intelligence that makes most people uncomfortable.
Every now and again, a plague will sheer off a person from a village or small group, herding them to a place where the plague can take them down undisturbed. It is unclear if they are doing this only for food or beause the plague is bored.
When pressed for food, or when under a certain madness (perhaps signals that only they can sense), a Plague will actually descend on a target or area, attacking and killing for food. It is in this mode that their raptor like abilities come to the fore. Normally they will attack a group of people or animals, but then stop and eat the first kill. Sometimes they will hunt a single individual, and not give up for weeks. (There are tales of people who have hidden indoors for weeks waiting for a Plauge to leave, only to leave months later and be attacked). There are abandoned small villages that were killed off by an Omen Bird Attack.
These animals are strong carriers of mammal disease. Their feces is often so germ filled, that it can infect water source or even cities/ villages/ camps. So the presence of Omen Birds can start diseases and even plagues.