Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Speculative Zoology #12: Budgerigar

Of all mankind's pets, it was the birds that suffered the worst when humanity crumbled (although some might argue that fish and reptiles didn't do so well either). Trapped in cages or aviaries, they died in the masses of starvation and disease. It became a struggle for survival and only the strongest, the most cunning and the most vicious survived. Some managed to tear their way out, or learn how to open their cage doors and fly free. Others clung on, cannibalising their fallen comrades and then attacking any survivors. And some managed to cling onto life long enough for nature to take her toll on their aviaries and allow them the chance for freedom.

It is from these hardy, powerful and ruthless budgerigars that the budgiraptor evolved. Twice as large as its ancestors, this bird is a vicious predator, and its prey is, predominently, other birds. Hunting in flocks, the budgiraptors can rip through a group of pigeons; slashing wings and tearing throats, sending the birds tumbling earthwards in a feathery bloodbath. It is not for nothing that they have been labelled the "pirahnas of the sky". They are skillful fliers, good at quick manouveres and their general innoculous appearance lures their victims into a false sense of security.

Budgiraptors form great nesting colonies in the ruins of skyscrapers. When not hunting they are noisy and playful, exhibiting levels of intelligence typical of parrots. They are practiced mimics, and converse to each other in a combination of human speak and other animal calls. Mature adults train the fledglings in aerial attacks and other skills that might be relevant to their ongoing survival.

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