Updated: Jun 20
Knights of Terrova Creature Design: The Rummy-Faced Plover
Physical Description: A relatively innocuous bird this tiny wading bird weighs only an ounce on average with a wingspan of 10 inches (25 cm) and a length of 5.5 inches (14 cm). The feathers around their neck, top of their head, wings, and back are iridescent black creating a cloak around the bird as it hunkers down. They possess a small red patch on their throat, a white stomach speckled with black dots, and a dark burgundy face. Their beak is thick towards the base before tapering off to a slightly curved thin point, this point is extremely sharp and contains several grooves that run towards the interior of the mouth, channeling liquid into the mouth without the wader needing to open its beak. The wingtips of this tiny bird are clawed, designed to aid the bird in clinging to surfaces. Their feet, while still remaining webbed also have small curved claws to aid in clinging to surfaces. The closest pre-awakening relative to this bird is the piping plover.
Diet: these little shorebirds have a rather unusual diet for avians, they feed on blood and the blood like nectar and fruit juices of the hemo-plum. Often traveling in small flocks of 5-50 individuals they will flock to a large animal preferably while it is asleep or weak, cling to a section of it that has softer skin or less armor and puncture its skin with their sharp beaks. They will then use the groves on their beak to siphon the blood into their mouth without widening the hole. Often a single bird can consume nearly 80% of their body weight in blood during a single feeding. Their saliva contains a minor numbing and anticoagulatory agent that is injected into the victim during the initial puncture. They will also drink from flowers and mature plumbs of the hemo-plum tree.
Behavior: These small birds will often spend their time alone or in mated pairs when not feeding. They nest in burrows dug underneath the dunes, where they will create small hordes of shiny objects and construct nests made out of the softest material they can find. They often wade the shores of beaches looking for small bits of sea glass to add to their collections. Another odd behavior seen in these birds is when they are in pairs or small groups they will often play in the shallows running along the shore seeing who can get closest to the crashing waves without getting wet, the winner of said games usually is awarded a small trinket for their hoard. They feed mostly at night aided by their very large eyes but are active whenever they please, an unusually enlarged ring of bone in the eye called the Sclerotic ring anchors relatively large muscles allowing the bird excellent control over the size of their pupils causing them to excel in most light conditions.
Ecology: These small birds have many predators causing them to have developed amazing agility in the air. Their relatively short wings allow them to take tight turns and perform amazing feats of acrobatics. Their presence in an environment is often noted by a minor change in the behavior of its largest inhabitants as they tend to move more in their sleep in an attempt to prevent the birds from comfortably feeding.
LifeCycle: The Rummy-Faced Plover mates for life, they lay 2-3 eggs every year in their burrows. The chicks are fed a diet to predigested blood that the parents regurgitate for them. The chicks are balls of yellow and red fluff that slowly lose their downy coat as they age, changing to an all-black adolescent only developing their distinctive markings one they reach maturity. The chicks take on average 8 months to reach maturity.
Relationship with humans: usually these small birds will leave a healthy adult alone, but they will converge to feed on a small or weakened individual particularly if that individual is already bleeding. They have been known to sneak into homes at night to feed on sleeping individuals.