1 Long Tailed Dragon Duck
A totally normal brown duck with 2 very long, pointy tail feathers. When in flight it looks exactly like (insert evil dragon of your game here). Causing panic wherever they go, watch the adventurers scatter and prep spells!
An evil dragon has gained control of a flock of these, can you say"the boy who cried wolf"!
2 Savage Turkey
This silly looking bird (looks like a rubber novelty chicken) is very ferocious. it has 2 attacks (as dagger)
and is about as tough as an orc. They travel in flocks of 10-20 and should be avoided. Their big claim to fame is that mages who encounter them, even briefly, have a very easy time using summoning spells on them.
3 Death-Wish Sparrow
This typical bright white and black sparrow has unusual behavior. It lives in huge(400-500)flocks. When threatened or sometimes when just approached, the males will fly into the mouth of the intruder.Their essence can be used for magic that involves sacrifice.
4 Heroic Sparrow
Only an expert in birds can tell death-wish from heroic sparrows, but they are very different. The main difference(other than behavior) is that heroic sparrows travel in smaller flocks (50-100). When confronted by danger, the bird will put up a fight that would make a wolverine proud.
Magic involving bravery and heroics can be made from them.
more to come
Additional Ideas (16)
These foul fowl are pests in urban areas. They look horrid, with dirty-coloured feathers, bald head with long waddles, and long gnarled legs. They smell even worse than they look, having a pervasive odour of the garbage & offal that they consume. Eating one isn't even done on a drunken dare, as the meat is tough & disgusting, and the bird is rife with parasites & disease. -
These small and beautiful birds are sought after by the wealthy as living ornamentation. Their feathers are iridescent light green, striking in appearance. The tail feathers are long and crossed in a scissor-tail configuration. They make no sound, are gentle & fearless, and are easy to keep clean.
7. Chumba Chickens
This hearty wild breed of chicken is small & stout. Its colouration is dirt brown. When defending its nest, the chumba puffs its feathers, making it look like an angry little ball, and attacks ferociously. They're mean. Away from the nest it is more likely to run away than fight. Its eggs are small & notably harder than chicken eggs, but the chumba is easier to tend & resistant to disease & environmental stress.
8. Dunbreen's Skimmers
Similar in appearance to a stretched-out woodpecker, but more like an albatross in habit, Dunbreen's skimmers travel far and wide. Rarely seen, these immense birds (nearly 3 meter wingspan) lazily drift just above the waves searching for fish near the surface. When hunting, they keep their feet forward & splayed. Upon sighting their prey, the skimmer jabs its talons under the water, scooping up the fish behind it. This capture does not interrupt their forward motion, and older ones do not even need to flap their wings to stay steady.
The Ospreg is a black and white water-owl longer than the arm of a big man. It's wild, laughing calls are often regarded as the voice of the northern lakes. Ospreg's are found on wooded lakes and rivers in deep forests of fir. The Ospreg feed by catching fish and eel under water. It swims well under and can hold it's breath for longer periods of time. This strange owl lays it's silver green eggs in shallow waters along the shores of lakes. Scholar's discuss the strange amphibian qualities of this bird, but has yet to reveal the true nature of this secretive species of owl.
10. Acadian Whistler
The low, barking calls mixed with the whistling sounds of this bird is seen as an ill omen. It is a tuftless, mottled gray-brown bird of the barren highlands. The bird is quite frightening to behold. It is only seen at night when it's eyes are like lanterns in the pitch black wilderness. They seem attracted to fire and often gather in vast numbers to behold campfires. This is probably what has caused their bad reputation as a bird of ill omens. Unknown to most they actually retreat into camouflaged holes in the ground at day. Their calls seems to lure animals into their maze-like tunnels where they are eaten. The glow in their eyes is in reality neither sinister nor magic. It is caused by a plankton in their eyes that glows red in the dark.
11. Aklar Dove
The Aklar Dove has a dark bluish-gray head, neck, and chest with glossy yellowish, greenish, and reddish-purple iridescence along its neck and wing feathers. The soft, drawn-out "hooo-hooo, hooo-hoooooo" identifies it. This pigeon is carnivorous and has a poisoned beak, they attack animals in large numbers flapping their wings to confuse their prey. Their beaks leaking an ink-like poison as they cut into the unfortunate beast. They dwell on cliffs and rock ledges where they also roost and breed. They are excellent flyers, gliding frequently, holding its wings in a very pronounced V shape as it does.
This bird seems almost half reptile, almost more like a winged snake than a bird. It has a long, serpentine body with six wings evenly spaced down it's body. Due to its lithe form, it is capable of turning on a dime even at high velocities. The largest Zekluft on record is two and a half feet in length. Their wingspan is disproportionate to their size though, for the record Zekluft had a wingspan of only four feet.
At some point in history, a wizard became fascinated with the coloration of the Flamingo. After some experimentation, he created the Flarcango: a flamingo that could alter its color to blend in to an environment, or stand out sharply. Both abilities are used, the former when predators are near, and the second during mating season. At this point, Flarcangos are something to behold, taking on rippling rainbow hues. Their feathers are useful for magic involving bright visual effects or blending in, depending on what tone the Flarcango had when the feather was taken.
Guidebirds are light grey birds that have dark grey marking around their eyes and at the very edge of their wings. These birds have such a strong flocking instinct that they always seem to be flying in formation (of 6-30). Their instinct is so strong, they follow large things on the ground. Thus they will follow buffalo on the plains, a large beast as it lumbers forward, an army, or a carriage, at least for a while. Then they will fly forward, as if they were guiding their "slow flockmate on the ground" to their destination.
Several religions have had prophets and holy folk directed by Guidebirds, so they are associated with fate/ destiny and foresight. Their feathers are commonly used for pathfinding charms.
There are some Guidebirds, called Moonbirds, that are nocturnal. They are dark grey to near black in coloration, but with white markings near their eyes. These Guidebirds have the same whistling songs as regular Guidebirds, only louder. Their larger eyes let them function in night as they eat berries, grasses, and the occasional insect.
These rarer birds are coveted for charms and magics.
These birds are related to Guidebirds, but have some slight aquatic adaptions like a Gull. You can tell they are related because they have the same darker grey ovals of tiny feathers around their eyes and wing tips that land based Guidebirds do. Unlike Guidebirds, these are mostly nocturnal creatures.
They are strong flyers, able to go long distances. Starbirds fly at night between the islands at sea. Navigators will use them as guides to find land while at sea. Legend has it that they uses the stars as their guides, but nobody has yet to determine if this is actually how they navigate.
These birds can often be found in desert climates, although they are relatuvely calm and peaceful by nature they will attack you if you persist in persevere to hurt/pester them.
There are also quite a few Noblemen out there looking for these creatures as they are relativly easy to tame if caught and provide excellent company, and are also relatively easy to look after.
A rich nobleman with a leering face approaches the charaters in an attempt to enlist their help in order to capture one of these birds as a gift to his granddaughter. He is offering quite a substantial sum for the capture of one of these birds. Possibly a bit too substantial.
Whatever the PC's suspicions he will true to his word reward them as promised.
Necrowings are the twisted creations of necromancers not wishing to employ the easier but more costly methods of using an all seeing eye(glass ball where if one knows the location they can only see what is going on in that specific area). Their skeletal figure is unnerving at worst to the people below, and never a good omen. Priests have a tendency to patrol their graveyards with a very handy axe after one of these has been spotted, to protect those entombed in his domain.
Commonly employed as spys they can fly for days without end, not needing any nutrition. There is however a downside to their usefulness, they will not fight and if attacked they will flee at first opportunity. They also can't fly more than 30 miles from their summoner; the further they fly the weaker they become until they fade into nothingness.
The Tanwar Owl is known for it's bright red and gold plumage. this odd coloration allows the noctural bird to go unnoticed in the daytime. The Tanwar forest is thick with Redleaf Elm, Golden-spruce, and other bright, sometimes metallic colored trees. At night, darkness hides it, in the day it's coloration hides it in the foliage. In all respects it is a regular owl of large size.
20. Royal Quan
A truly imperial avian, the Royal Quan is destinctive for it's crown of golden yellow feathers, red chased wings, and black spotted white chest. A coastal fish raptor and relative to eagles and osprey, Royal quans can grow to impressive size. As a rule, they are nasty, territorial, and often have a few smaller birds that follow them around, usually blackbirds, coastal gulls, and the rare pelican.
A Sprialow is a breed of Swallows that when migrating, fly in a spiral pattern radiating ever outwards from a specific point in the sky. According to folklore, such behaviour came about as a result of a flock of swallows accidentally flying into the Mazewood, a strange forest where all creatures lose their sense of direction upon entering. Apparently, this particular flock got out of the Mazewood by flying in such a spiral pattern and has ever afterwards flew in this way.
A local owl breed, that has learned to make their eyes glow, to attract the nightly insects it hunts. It is suspected the ability comes from the magical aura of its home, when brought elsewhere, it doesn't glow. As they spread around, they can help in detecting ambient magical energies.
Their coating is an unremarkable grey, they often shed feathers, which some birds collect for their nests. While very soft, people say it is no good for pillows, it will keep you up at night.
These ground birds are found in the barren areas of Southlands. Their mottled feathers match the browns, golds, and reds of the soil in those parts. They are quite large, weighing in at a good 8 lbs (3.5kg). Their legs are "stubby" when compared with most birds, but it gives them strong legs to strike and claw with. This is their defense against other middle sized predators in the Southlands. Their elongated necks and sharp hooked beak allows them to reach and crack the hard seed shells found in the Bradle bushes. Those beaks are also sharp and will rend flesh easily enough.
Ozpecks are omnivores. They prefer to be carrion birds, but they will hunt opportunistically.
Think tiny squatty ostriches, with sharp tallons and a short hooked beack.
These Owls flew out of The Dark Oak Forest a few decades back. They have spread over the lands south of the foul forest.
They are sized and shaped like any Barn Owl. At a distance, one might think they were one. Two things give them away. The first is the darker coloration, more black with a touch of browns, than any other owls. The inside of their wings have red spots along their inner pinions. The second is that they stay in groups of three to six. It is one male owl with a harem of females.
A minor difference is their eyes. Their eyes are notably larger than most owls. All owls have large eyes, Mind Owls have larger ones.
It is through their eyes they work their Dark Forest magics.
Theirs is a mesmerizing gaze. If they can catch and hold the gaze of an animal (or person), the creature is distracted. They are so distracted they forget to move or make a noise or respond, even with the Mind Owls descend on them. The attacks are not always immediately fatal, but most creatures do not survive long after many strips of their flesh has been torn out. (Usually one attacked or hurt will notice, no longer being distracted. It may or may not save them.) The Owls often follow them, waiting for them to sicken and die (their wounds seem to draw infection). They will watch over their kill, feeding off it for a few days.
Part of the Dark Forest Cluster http://www.strolen.com/content.php?node=1330
These are long graceful birds, with long white tails (two trailing long feathers), a long neck, and two feathered crests. They are titanium (Elven Steel) white with black eyes and slight black marking around their eyes. Their beaks are short and nearly golden in color.
Chime Birds are extremely long lived. They may be immortal, dying only of injury or loneliness. The oldest pair known to HumanKind, who nest in the city of Cambria (see City Image - Cambria), have been observed for just short of 200 years.
They live in pairs, mating for life. Their courting rituals, if the records in Cambria can be believed, seemed to take several years. They seem to breed every fifty to one hundred years with a single egg.
These birds are graceful, seemingly able to fly without flapping their wings. Some say, they magically summon the wind to lift them, others just call them expert gliders.
They catch insects on the wing or can be seen eating seeds upon occasion.
Unlike most birds, they seem at home acting at both day and night. (They have exceptional night vision.) It is hard to tell, as the birds seem to do very little... just some occasional ritualized interactions with their mates or visiting Chimebirds. (There seems to be no rhyme or reason behind visitors.) They seem to stand and pose most of the day. Every few weeks they will call out with their songs.
The reason they are called Chime Birds is their call. It has a ring, like a bell being struck. Each Chimebird can make six or so different chime/bell like sounds. This is not the chirping of your normal bird, just with a chime. It is music, identifiable music. A pair can produce quite a range of sounds and the sweetest music known to Humankind. (When visitors join in, it takes on an orchestral quality).
They do migrate south like other birds every decade or so. It seems the entire species flies to the Elven FirstLands around the GreatEmeraldFluidPool lake. There they congregate and interact for six months, then return to their homes.
The Elves speak, as the First People are wont to do, of how the elements came together and made them. There is a small aside to that tale, how some of the wind performed a dance and a song and other lesser elements joined them. From that came the second birds (after Phoenixes), the Chimebirds.
So I was playing with my game which has lifesets for each species. So to be an Elven character, you take a character and apply the Elven Lifeset. I just applied it to a bird framework and got...
26. Mimic Bird
Mimic birds are versatile creatures that are known to nest in a variety of habitats and terrains. A mimic bird resembles a parrot a lot in looks but is only the size of a robin. Unlike a parrot, though, it can only mimic the sounds of animals. In particular, it is capable of mimicking the sounds of a whole range of different predators in order to scare off whatever hunts them.
27. Foliage chirpers
So named because they can camouflage themselves by blending entirely into a bush, the foliage chirpers have feathers that are dark green in colour normally and capable of changing shades to matching their surrounding environment. Hunters from the local tribes wear cloaks woven from the feathers of foliage chirpers and thus enjoy far greater success in capturing game.
This breed of exotic birds is not remotely related to the nightingales, being substantially larger in size (at around 25-30cm in length), greyish-blue in colour and having a fan-like tail. However, it shares the tendency of nightingales of frequently singing, with its song being particularly noticeable at night, hence the locals have named it “Yawingale”. As its name indicates, the song this bird makes very closely resembles the sound of humans yawning.
According to local belief, these birds are the messengers of (insert local god of sleep/children) sent out to help children sleep better at night.
These unusual pigeons have feather that appear golden in hue when sunlight fall on them but otherwise not much different from normal pigeons. They nest in cliffs and have the unusual habit of diving towards surrounding canyons in flocks at dawn.
It is rumoured that the first flock of Canyon Darters are found in the neighbouring region of the Canyon of Dreams. Given that many have felt a strange emanation from the Canyon, it was hypothesised that these birds’ behaviours might have been the result of a call originating from deep within the Canyon…
30. Needle Egret
A needle egret is an egret whose plumes are lavender in colour. It is found in tropical swamps where it nests in colonies, often with other herons, on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs.
While many desire its plumes for decorating hats, the hunting of needle egrets are extremely dangerous as it can excrete a poisonous chemical that hardens its feathers at will and often shoots out some of these hardened feathers in defense when hunted.
Your PCs are tasked with an adventure into a a forest that is claimed to be haunted. Inside the discover a variety of these birds including night time "attacks" by mimic birds and swarms of heroic birds dive bombing them out of nowhere. Feel free to improvise but these are what immediately came to me.