The Nightbird, also known as Shadow of Death, Darkness Singer and Ghostbird, is a rather small bird, only four palmspans long. It inhabits most of the forests in Northern Sarvonia. This bird has nocturnal habits and sleeps most of the day, hidden. It is dark brown or black in colour with a single white stripe down the back (males).
The Nightbird is only 4 palmspans from beak to tail. It has broad, long wings
and a short tail that permits it to navigate easily among the trunks of the
trees. The soft plumage among the wing feather gives it the ability to glide
without making a sound. The Nightbird has very large eyes that give the bird a
very good night sight, the eyes absorb what little light it can find and allows
the Nightbird its nocturnal flights. The eyes of the Nightbird seem to glow in
Nightbords also have relatively short legs with long fingers and small, blunt claws. The larynx and lungs of the Nightbird is very well developed since it is the source of their song. The Nightbirds have a large ribcase to accomodate the lungs and heart.
Both the male and the female are of dark colours but the males have one single stripe of white feathers down the middle of the back. This stripe is only visible when the wings are spread.
The Nightbird has a very good night sight because of its big eyes. It can be
very scary to see a Nightbird swooshing out of the darkness without a sound with
its eyes reflecting what little light there may be. The Nightbird has a very
clear and easily recognizable song consisting in several trillings and then a
The soft plumages from wings and body of the Nightbird can be used in filling pillows and bedcovers. The long wingfeathers are often used to make stearing feathers on elven arrows.
Territory. The Nightbird is only found on Northern Sarvonia in the many forests there; especially in the Shaded Forest.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Nightbird, being nocturnal, stays most of the day hiding inside hollow trees. If disturbed during the day the Nightbird will not move and can easily be captured or killed.
The Nightbird lives in several small flocks named bevys. It is a very territorial bird and they mark their courtship grounds by singing from determinated trees (singing trees). During the mating season the male sing to attract females to their courtship grounds so he can mate with them without the intrution of any male from other bevys. The dominant males from several bevys share a harem of females in a very vast territory around their nesting grounds.
Nightbirds have a very organized structure of dominant and submissive males. The dominant males are the only ones allowed to mate the females, the submissive males have to build the nests and find food for the young. The submissive males never are agressive against the dominant male and are usually his offspring, but can also be the offspring of the dominant male of a nearby bevy.
Once the dominant male dies the females choose a new dominant male among the submissive by listening to their singing. The clearer and louder the notes are, the more opportunities do the males have to become the dominant one.
Diet. The Nightbird feeds mostly on the wild, red vinterberries growing under their nesting, and singing trees.
Mating. The only male that mates with all the females is the dominant one. The mating ritual consist in the male singing and showing off the white stripe along the back by hanging upside down from a twig and spreading his wings.
During the mating season the male can mate with up to 100 females from different bevys. The submissive males do not have any role during the mating season but are very important during nesting season since they build the nests. The nest of the Nightbird are made in special trees (nesting trees) that lay as far away from the singing trees as possible to keep the females from other bevys to find them. The nests are made of yrom and leaves.
Each female lays only two eggs per season, the first chick to hatch will be the one they take care of. The remaining egg is pushed out of the nest. The chick then stays with the mother until next season and then it is driven from the nest. If it is a male it will become one of the submissive males and if it is a female it will leave the territory of the father and join another group of Nightbirds.
Myth/Lore. It is said that this bird was created by Queprur so they could sing and praise her during her time of ruling, the night. The Injerín elves take as a sign that the Goddess is close when hearing a single Nightbird singing. A group of Nightbirds singing however is taken as an omen of rebirth. The elves from Lyeil'soula say that the soul of evil, dead bards take the form of a nightbird.
Injerín saying: “You bring as much joy as a Nightbird singing.” (Meaning: You bring misery and sorrow wherever you go.)
Information provided by Lucirina Telor Vevan