Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Sentry and his kind
Description: One of the most common predators in Tropico is the falconeer. These flightless birds are some two meters in length, most of it being their tails.
Head: They have somewhat stubby beaks lined with very sharp teeth. They have sharp eyes, capable of detecting the slightest movement. Their color vision evolved with Towneform plants in mind, and they can be fooled by the shades of green that now cover the island.
Body: Their bodies are light weight and muscular. They are capable of jumping from the ground on to roofs of one-story houses, as they often do. They sport a sickle claw on their middle toe.
Color: The female of the species is cover in orange, while the males are a combination of orange and blue.
Diet: Falconeers travel alone, or in pairs. Before the coming of humanity, the hobbler was the falconeer’s primary prey. Afterwards, they took to eating the numerous rodents along with odd chickens.
Lifecycle: The falconeer starts life beneath one of their parents. Parents take turns siting on the nest, protecting the eggs and chicks from rain. As much as an astro will pass before the falconeer leaves the nest and follows the parent on the hunt. After a few astros, the family will break up and go their separate ways. Though falconeers do not actively teach their young, the chicks do pick up new ideas and skills relatively easy. They also learn what is edible and what is off-limits.
Reproduction: The falconeer mates for life, and during each mating season the pair seeks each other out. If one is dead, then the other will not mate that season. When a new season comes around, the survivor will seek out a new mate.
Habitat: Falconeers are found only on the island of Sardensti. They roam the streets of Tropico, much like stray dogs or feral cats. Falconeers nest around human houses, sometime underneath, and occasionally on the roofs. If a human comes close, the falconeer will call out, while spreading their small wings and extending the crest upon their heads.
Communication: Their calls of “caw-caw” often mistake them for crows.
Enemies: The falconeer can hold their own against large dogs and even some of the big cats introduced by the Atlantians. Falconeers that go after livestock and pets do so at their own hazard. As long as they do not get to territorial, humans will tolerate the falconeers living on their roofs; if for no other reason than they get rid of rodents.